Identification and characterization of four ferritin subunits involved in immune defense of the Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis).
As a primary iron storage protein, ferritin plays a vital role in iron homeostasis and innate immunity. In this study, four ferritin subunits (PyFer1, PyFer2, PyFer3, and PyFer4) were cloned from the Yesso scallop, Patinopecten yessoensis, by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) following in silico transcriptome analysis. The full-length cDNAs of the four ferritins are 895, 920, 891, and 1400 bp in length, respectively, and each contains a putative iron response element (IRE) in its 5 UTR. Meanwhile, multiple A+U-destabilizing elements (TATT or ATTTA) are present in the 3 UTRs of PyFer2 and PyFer4. The open reading frames of the four ferritins are 522, 516, 516, and 519 bp, encoding 173, 171, 171, and 172 amino acids, respectively. These proteins have typical ferritin structures, with four long ?-helices, one short ?-helix and an L-loop. All of the predicted proteins possess both the ferroxidase center of mammalian H ferritins (E25, Y32, E59, E60, H63, E105, and Q139) and the iron nucleation site of mammalian L ferritins (H116, D129, and E132), and the recombinant proteins possess apparent ferroxidase activity. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of the four PyFers was significantly elevated at the D-shaped stage and was relatively high in the adult mantle and hepatopancreas. Furthermore, the four PyFers were significantly up-regulated by iron or bacterial challenge, and all four purified recombinant PyFers were able to inhibit the growth of the scallop pathogen Vibrio anguillarum. These results suggest that these PyFers are likely to play important roles in many fundamental biological processes in P. yessoensis, including immune defense, iron homeostasis, and shell development.