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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03602

    Family I84 protease inhibitors likely constitute a Mollusca-specific protein family functioning in host defense

    Jiali Lu, Sheng Liu, Ziyan Ruan, Jing Ye, Qianjiang Wu, Sufang Wang, Zhihua Lin, Qinggang Xue*

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Protease inhibitors are proteins or small polypeptides functioning in numerous biological processes in all organisms. The I84 family of protease inhibitors in the MEROPS database represents a novel protease inhibitor family that has been reported in 2 bivalves, Crassostrea virginica and Sinonovacula constricta and is believed to play a role in host defense. In the present study, 7 new members of Family I84 were identified in 2 bivalves, Meretrix meretrix and Mytilus galloprovincialis, and 1 gastropod, Haliotis discus hannai at the mRNA level via cDNA cloning. The expression patterns of the newly identified genes varied in response to salinity stresses and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) stimulations, suggesting their involvements in the host defense of related species. Additionally, analyses of sequence data in public databases did not disclose Family I84 protease inhibitor molecules in non-molluscan animals. The results indicated that Family I84 protease inhibitors are likely mollusk specific, constituting a unique host defense mechanism in molluscan species.