Identification of putative peptide paracrines/hormones in the water flea Daphnia pulex (Crustacea; Branchiopoda; Cladocera) using transcriptomics and immunohistochemistry.

Center for Marine Functional Genomics, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Salisbury Cove, ME 04672, USA.
General and Comparative Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 2.67). 02/2009; 160(3):271-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2008.12.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The cladoceran crustacean Daphnia pulex has emerged as a model species for many biological fields, in particular environmental toxicology and toxicogenomics. Recently, this species has been the subject of an extensive transcriptome project, resulting in the generation and public deposition of over 150,000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs). This resource makes D. pulex an excellent model for protein discovery using bioinformatics. Here, in silico searches of the D. pulex EST database were conducted to identify transcripts encoding putative peptide precursors. Moreover, the mature peptides contained within the deduced prepro-hormones were predicted using online peptide processing programs and homology to known arthropod isoforms. In total, 63 putative peptide-encoding ESTs were identified encompassing 14 distinct peptide families/subfamilies: A-type allatostatin, B-type allatostatin, C-type allatostatin, bursicon (both alpha and beta subunit peptides), crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP), crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH)/ion transport peptide (both CHH- and moult-inhibiting hormone-like subfamilies), diuretic hormone (calcitonin-like), ecdysis-triggering hormone (ETH), FMRFamide (both neuropeptide F and short neuropeptide F subfamilies), orcokinin and pigment dispersing hormone. From these transcripts, the structures of 76 full-length/partial peptides were predicted, which included the first C-type allatostatin-like peptide identified from a crustacean, the first crustacean calcitonin-like diuretic hormone, an undescribed CCAP isoform, two hitherto unknown ETH variants, and two new orcokinins. Neuronal localization of several of the identified peptide families was confirmed using immunohistochemitry (i.e. A-type allatostatin, CCAP, FMRFamide and PDH). In addition, immunohistochemical analyses identified other putative neuropeptides for which no ESTs had been found (i.e. corazonin, insect kinin, proctolin, red pigment concentrating hormone, SIFamide, sulfakinin and tachykinin-related peptide). Collectively, the data presented here not only catalog an extensive array of putative D. pulex peptide paracrines/hormones, but also provide a strong foundation for future investigations of the effects of environmental/anthropogenic stressors on peptidergic control in this model organism.

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