MULTIFUNCin: a multifunctional protein cue induces habitat selection by, and predation on, barnacles

Ferrier, Graham A., Kim, Steven J., Kaddis, Catherine S., Loo, Joseph A., Zimmer, Cheryl Ann and Zimmer, Richard K. (2016) MULTIFUNCin: a multifunctional protein cue induces habitat selection by, and predation on, barnacles. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 56 5: 901-913. doi:10.1093/icb/icw076

Author Ferrier, Graham A.
Kim, Steven J.
Kaddis, Catherine S.
Loo, Joseph A.
Zimmer, Cheryl Ann
Zimmer, Richard K.
Title MULTIFUNCin: a multifunctional protein cue induces habitat selection by, and predation on, barnacles
Journal name Integrative and Comparative Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1540-7063
Publication date 2016-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/icb/icw076
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 56
Issue 5
Start page 901
End page 913
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract Foundation species provide critical resources to ecological community members and are major determinants of biodiversity. The barnacle Balanus glandula is one such species and dominates space among the higher reaches on wave-swept shores. Here, we show that B. glandula produces a 199.6-kDa glycoprotein (named "MULTIFUNCin"), and following secretion, a 390-kDa homodimer in its native state. MULTIFUNCin expression is localized in the epidermis, cuticle, and new shell material. Consequently, this molecule can specify upon contact the immediate presence of a live barnacle. Shared, conserved domains place MULTIFUNCin in the α-macroglobulin (A2M) subgroup of the thioester-containing protein family. Although previously undescribed, MULTIFUNCin shares 78% nucleotide sequence homology with a settlement-inducing pheromone (SIP) of the barnacle, Amphibalanus amphitrite Based on this and further evidence, we propose that the two proteins are orthologues and evolved ancestrally in structural and immunological roles. More recently, they became exploited as chemical cues for con- and heterospecific organisms, alike. MULTIFUNCin and SIP both induce habitat selection (settlement) by conspecific barnacle larvae. In addition, MULTIFUNCin acts as a potent feeding stimulant to major barnacle predators (sea stars and several whelk species). Promoting immigration via settlement on the one hand, and death via predation on the other, MULTIFUNCin simultaneously mediates opposing demographic processes toward structuring both predator and prey populations. As a multifunctional protein cue, MULTIFUNCin provides valuable sensory information, conveys different messages to different species, and drives complex biotic interactions.
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Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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