The CAP superfamily is a group of proteins that have been linked to several biological functions such as reproduction, cancer, and immune defense. A differential screening between lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged and naive Ciona intestinalis has been performed to identify LPS-induced genes. This strategy has allowed the isolation of a full-length 1471-bp cDNA encoding for a 413-amino-acid protein (CiCAP). In silico analysis has shown that this polypeptide displays a modular structure with similarities to vertebrate CAP-superfamily proteins and to a collagen-binding adhesin of Streptococcus mutans. Domain organization analysis and alignment of CiCAP to other vertebrate CAP proteins have revealed a novel structure suggesting that this protein originated from a common ancestor gene that gave rise to many subfamilies of mosaic proteins with novel functions. Quantitative mRNA expression performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis has demonstrated that this gene is rapidly activated in the pharynx of C. intestinalis a few hours after LPS injection. Moreover, in situ hybridization has shown that CiCAP mRNA is highly expressed by hemocytes with large granules contained inside the pharynx vessels. Thus, CiCAP represents a protein with novel structural domains involved in ascidian immune responses.
|Numero di pagine||11|
|Rivista||Cell and Tissue Research|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2010|
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