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Characterization of mucus-associated proteins from abalone (Haliotis) – candidates for chemical signaling

journal contribution
posted on 2012-02-01, 00:00 authored by C Kuanpradit, Michael Stewart, P York, B Degnan, P Sobhon, Peter Hanna, J Chavadej, S Cummins
Living in groups is a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom. For free-spawning aquatic animals, such as the abalone (Haliotis), being in the close proximity to potential mating partners enhances reproductive success. In this study, we investigated whether chemical cues could be present in abalone mucus that enable species-specific aggregation. A comparative MS analysis of mucus obtained from trailing or fixed stationary Haliotis asinina, and from seawater surrounding aggregations, indicated that water-soluble biomolecules are present and that these can stimulate sensory activity in conspecifics. Purified extracts of trail mucus contain at least three small proteins [termed H. asinina mucus-associated proteins (Has-MAPs)-1–3], which readily diffuse into the surrounding seawater and evoke a robust cephalic tentacle response in conspecifics. Mature Has-MAP-1 is approximately 9.9 kDa in size, and has a glycine-rich N-terminal region. Has-MAP-2 is approximately 6.2 kDa in size, and has similarities to schistosomin, a protein that is known to play a role in mollusc reproduction. The mature Has-MAP-3 is approximately 12.5 kDa in size, and could only be identified within trail mucus of animals outside of the reproductive season. All three Has-MAP genes are expressed at high levels within secretory cells of the juvenile abalone posterior pedal gland, consistent with a role in scent marking. We infer from these results that abalone mucus-associated proteins are candidate chemical cues that could provide informational cues to conspecifics living in close proximity and, given their apparent stability and hydrophilicity, animals further afield.

History

Journal

FEBS Journal

Volume

279

Issue

3

Pagination

437 - 450

Publisher

Wiley - Blackwell Publishing

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

1742-464X

eISSN

1742-4658

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, FEBS