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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 73:245-251 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/dao073245

Isolation of a subtilisin-like serine protease gene (MyxSubtSP) from spores of Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease

Christoph Dörfler, Mansour El-Matbouli*

Institute of Zoology, Fish Biology and Fish Diseases, University of Munich, Kaulbachstraße 37, 80539 Munich, Germany
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Proteases play important roles in parasite life cycles and host–parasite interactions. They are pathogenesis factors of many pathogenic organisms and are hence potential targets for chemotherapeutic treatment of disease. We identified a subtilisin-like serine protease gene, MyxSubtSP, expressed by Myxobolus cerebralis. After PCR with subtilisin-like serine protease primers, the gene was cloned, sequenced and aligned against the NCBI database. Its corresponding amino acid sequence included the putative conserved domains of Peptidase_S8, subtilase family and AprE, subtilisin-like serine proteases. Rapid amplification of 5’ and 3’ cDNA ends (RACE) was used to generate the full length (1385 bp) gene, with a 429 bp open reading frame. The gene encompasses coding regions for a catalytic triad formed by Asp-74, His-100 and Ser-110.

KEY WORDS: Salmonid whirling disease · Myxobolus cerebralis · Serine protease · Cloning

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