Gene expression profiling of cuticular proteins across the moult cycle of the crab Portunus pelagicus

Kuballa, Anna V., Merritt, David J. and Elizur, Abigail (2007) Gene expression profiling of cuticular proteins across the moult cycle of the crab Portunus pelagicus. BMC Biology, 5 45: 1-26. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-5-45


Author Kuballa, Anna V.
Merritt, David J.
Elizur, Abigail
Title Gene expression profiling of cuticular proteins across the moult cycle of the crab Portunus pelagicus
Formatted title
Gene expression profiling of cuticular proteins across the moult cycle of the crab Portunus pelagicus
Journal name BMC Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1741-7007
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1741-7007-5-45
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 45
Start page 1
End page 26
Total pages 26
Editor M. Norton
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Language eng
Subject C1
270504 Invertebrate Biology
630303 Aquaculture
Abstract Background: Crustaceans represent an attractive model to study biomineralization and cuticle matrix formation, as these events are precisely timed to occur at certain stages of the moult cycle. Moulting, the process by which crustaceans shed their exoskeleton, involves the partial breakdown of the old exoskeleton and the synthesis of a new cuticle. This cuticle is subdivided into layers, some of which become calcified while others remain uncalcified. The cuticle matrix consists of many different proteins that confer the physical properties, such as pliability, of the exoskeleton.
Formatted abstract
Background
Crustaceans represent an attractive model to study biomineralization and cuticle matrix formation, as these events are precisely timed to occur at certain stages of the moult cycle. Moulting, the process by which crustaceans shed their exoskeleton, involves the partial breakdown of the old exoskeleton and the synthesis of a new cuticle. This cuticle is subdivided into layers, some of which become calcified while others remain uncalcified. The cuticle matrix consists of many different proteins that confer the physical properties, such as pliability, of the exoskeleton.

Results

We have used a custom cDNA microarray chip, developed for the blue swimmer crab Portunus pelagicus, to generate expression profiles of genes involved in exoskeletal formation across the moult cycle. A total of 21 distinct moult-cycle related differentially expressed transcripts representing crustacean cuticular proteins were isolated. Of these, 13 contained copies of the cuticle_1 domain previously isolated from calcified regions of the crustacean exoskeleton, four transcripts contained a chitin_bind_4 domain (RR consensus sequence) associated with both the calcified and un-calcified cuticle of crustaceans, and four transcripts contained an unannotated domain (PfamB_109992) previously isolated from C. pagurus. Additionally, cryptocyanin, a hemolymph protein involved in cuticle synthesis and structural integrity, also displays differential expression related to the moult cycle. Moult stage-specific expression analysis of these transcripts revealed that differential gene expression occurs both among transcripts containing the same domain and among transcripts containing different domains.

Conclusion

The large variety of genes associated with cuticle formation, and their differential expression across the crustacean moult cycle, point to the complexity of the processes associated with cuticle formation and hardening. This study provides a molecular entry path into the investigation of the gene networks associated with cuticle formation.
Keyword Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
BIOLOGY
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 16 Apr 2008, 01:20:57 EST by Sian Rodgie on behalf of School of Biological Sciences