Identification of a c-Jun homolog from Litopenaeus vannamei as a downstream substrate of JNK in response to WSSV infection
Published:2016-06-08 09:58:36    Text Size:【BIG】【MEDIUM】【SMALL
Summary:c-Jun, a major substrate of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), participates in regulating gene transcription in response to various stimuli, including cytokines, stress signals, bacterial and viral infection. Results from our previous studies suggested that Litopenaeus vannamei JNK (LvJNK) could be utilized by white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) to facilitate viral replication and gene expression. In this article, a c-Jun homolog from Litopenaeus vannamei (designated as Lvc-Jun) was cloned and its role in WSSV infection was studied. Sequence analysis displayed that Lvc-Jun was a novel homolog of c-Jun family, which contained characteristic Jun and basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domains, and two conserved serine phosphorylation sites (Ser49/59). Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis illustrated that Lvc-Jun mRNAs were expressed in all examined tissues. Further investigation determined that Lvc-Jun was located in the nucleus through self-interaction and its phosphorylation levels could be reduced by JNK inhibitor, suggesting that Lvc-Jun could be regulated by LvJNK through phosphorylation and function as a transcription regulator in a homodimer. During the process of WSSV infection, the transcription levels of Lvc-Jun were up-regulated associating with the raising expression and phosphorylation levels of its protein. Moreover, TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate), a potent inducer of c-Jun, could remarkably promote viral immediate-early gene wsv069 transcription in crayfish hemocytes. Conclusively, our results provided experimental evidences that Lvc-Jun was engaged in WSSV infection and further implied that JNK-c-Jun signaling pathway might be important for WSSV replication and viral gene expression.
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