Inducible galectins are expressed in the inflamed pharynx of the ascidianCiona intestinalis

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Although ascidians belong to a key group in chordate phylogenesis, amino acid sequences of Cionaintestinalis galectin-CRDs (CiLgals-a and -b) have been retained too divergent from vertebrate galectins.In the present paper, to contribute in disclosing Bi-CRD galectin evolution a novel attempt was carriedout on CiLgals-a and -b CRDs phylogenetic analysis, and their involvement in ascidian inflammatoryresponses was shown. CiLgals resulted aligned with Bi-CRD galectins from vertebrates (Xenopus tropicalis,Gallus gallus, Mus musculus, Homo sapiens), cephalochordates (Branchiostoma floridae), echinoderms(Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) and a mono-CRD galectin from the ascidian Clavelina picta. The CiLgalsaN-terminal and C-terminal CRDs contain the signature sequence involved in carbohydrate binding,whereas the CiLgals-b C-CRD presents only three out of seven key aminoacids and it could not be suitableas sugar binding motif. Sequence similarity between clusters suggests an evolutionary model based onCRD domain gene duplication and sequence diversification. In particular CiLgals-b N-CRD and C-CRDwere similar to each other and both grouped with the ascidian C. picta mono-CRD. Homology modelingprocess shows a CiLgals molecular structure superimposed to chicken and mouse galectins. The CiLgalsaand CiLgals-b genes were upregulated by LPS inoculation suggesting that they are inducible andexpressed in the inflamed pharynx as revealed by real-time PCR analysis. Finally, in situ hybridization andimmunohistochemical assays showed their localization in the inflamed tissues, while immunoblottinganalysis indicated that CiLgals can form oligomers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science

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