Research Article

Two chitin metabolic enzyme genes from Hyriopsis cumingii: cloning, characterization, and potential functions

Published: December 19, 2012
Genet. Mol. Res. 11 (4) : 4539-4551 DOI: 10.4238/2012.October.15.4

Abstract

Chitin, the second most important natural polymer in the world, and its N-deacetylated derivative chitosan are found in a wide variety of organisms. These versatile biopolymers are associated with a broad range of biological functions. This article is the first to report the potential functions of 2 chitin metabolic enzyme genes from Hyriopsis cumingii. A chitinase-3 gene (Chi-3) and a chitin deacetylase gene (Cda) were cloned from H. cumingii and characterized. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the Cda gene was expressed in blood, mantle, liver, stomach, kidney, intestine, gill, and foot, whereas Chi-3 was also expressed in those tissues but not in blood. The tissue-specific expression of H. cumingii Chi-3 indicated that other Chi genes may be involved in the H. cumingii immune system. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the expression of Chi-3 was significantly (P Chi-3 might hydrolyze superfluous chitin after shell recovery and play a role in shell formation. Conversely, Cda expression did not change significantly (P > 0.05) to maintain a certain degree of acetylation in chitin/chitosan. This study enriches the basic research on chitin metabolic genes and lays foundations for further research of shell regeneration in mussels.

Chitin, the second most important natural polymer in the world, and its N-deacetylated derivative chitosan are found in a wide variety of organisms. These versatile biopolymers are associated with a broad range of biological functions. This article is the first to report the potential functions of 2 chitin metabolic enzyme genes from Hyriopsis cumingii. A chitinase-3 gene (Chi-3) and a chitin deacetylase gene (Cda) were cloned from H. cumingii and characterized. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the Cda gene was expressed in blood, mantle, liver, stomach, kidney, intestine, gill, and foot, whereas Chi-3 was also expressed in those tissues but not in blood. The tissue-specific expression of H. cumingii Chi-3 indicated that other Chi genes may be involved in the H. cumingii immune system. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the expression of Chi-3 was significantly (P Chi-3 might hydrolyze superfluous chitin after shell recovery and play a role in shell formation. Conversely, Cda expression did not change significantly (P > 0.05) to maintain a certain degree of acetylation in chitin/chitosan. This study enriches the basic research on chitin metabolic genes and lays foundations for further research of shell regeneration in mussels.

About the Authors