Hemocyanins (Hc), the main protein components of hemolymph in invertebrates, are not only involved in oxygen transport but also linked to non-specific immune responses. In this study, we used abalone (Haliotis diversicolor) Hc to study the basis of its diversified functions through gene, protein, peptides, and phenoloxidase (PO) activity levels. Three complete hemocyanin gene (HdH) sequences were cloned for the first time. By comparing the copies and location of HdH between abalone and other mollusks, we propose that Hc gene duplication and linkage is likely to be common during the evolution of mollusk respiratory proteins. We further demonstrate that all three genes could be expressed in abalone, with expression varying based on the developmental stages, tissue types, and different pathogen infections. However, HdH1 and HdH2 appear to be synthesized by the same cells by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Furthermore, the PO activity of HdH can be induced by trypsin, urea, and SDS in vitro. Viral infection can stimulate its PO activity in vivo by cleaving the protein into fragments. Consequently, we present a comprehensive study of abalone hemocyanin, providing important evidence for an in-depth understanding of the physiological and immune functions of Hc in mollusks.
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules – Elsevier
Published: May 15, 2019
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