Genetic Variation; Immunity, Innate; Proteins--genetics; Sea Urchins--microbiology
Effective protection against pathogens requires the host to produce a wide range of immune effector proteins. The Sp185/333 gene family, which is expressed by the California purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus in response to bacterial infection, encodes a highly diverse repertoire of anti-pathogen proteins. A subset of these proteins can be isolated by affinity to metal ions based on multiple histidines, resulting in one to four bands of unique molecular weight on standard Western blots, which vary depending on the individual sea urchin. Two dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) of nickel-isolated protein samples followed by Western blot was employed to detect nickel-isolated Sp185/333 (Ni-Sp185/333) proteins and to evaluate protein diversity in animals before and after immune challenge with marine bacteria. Ni-Sp185/333 proteins of the same molecular weight on standard Western blots appear as a broad complex of variants that differ in pI on 2DE Western blots. The Ni-Sp185/333 protein repertoire is variable among animals, and shows a variety of changes among individual sea urchins in response to immune challenges with both the same and different species of bacteria. The extraordinary diversity of the Ni-Sp185/333 proteins may provide significant anti-pathogen capabilities for sea urchins that survive solely on innate immunity.
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Sherman, L. S., Schrankel, C. S., Brown, K. J., & Smith, L. C. (2015). Extraordinary Diversity of Immune Response Proteins among Sea Urchins: Nickel-Isolated Sp185/333 Proteins Show Broad Variations in Size and Charge.. PLoS One, 10 (9). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0138892