Ruifen Zhang, Jing Gao*, Hui Xie, Yan Sun*, Yuan Zhang, Jing Song, Nanshu Xiang and Zhi Li*
Background: Palustrin-2CE2 and brevinin-2CE3 are antimicrobial peptides from Rana chensinensis. In R. chensinensis tadpoles, the expression of prepropalustrin-2CE2 and preprobrevinin-2CE3 increased with the developmental stage. In addition, the expression of the two genes was dramatically upregulated with stimulation by Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and the chemical lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The genomic organization of the two antimicrobial peptide genes was confirmed. Both prepropalustrin-2CE2 and preprobrevinin-2CE3 contain three exons separated by two large introns. Additionally, several presumed transcription factor binding sites were identified in the promoter sequence. Functional analysis of the promoter was performed using a luciferase reporter system, and further confirmed by yeast one-hybrid experiment and EMSA assay. The results indicated that the transcription factors NF-κB and RelA are involved in regulating the expression of prepropalustrin-2CE2 and preprobrevinin-2CE3. As amphibian populations decline globally, this study provides new data demonstrating how frogs defend against pathogens from the environment by regulating AMP expression. For amphibians, antimicrobial peptides are innate immune molecules that resist adverse external environmental stimuli. However, the regulation mechanism of antimicrobial peptide gene expression in frogs is still unclear.
Objective: The two antimicrobial peptides, palustrin-2CE2 and brevinin-2CE3, are produced under external stimulation in Rana chensinensis. Using this model, we analyzed the gene structure and regulatory elements of the two antimicrobial peptide genes and explored the regulatory effects of related transcription factors on the two genes.
Method: Different stimuli such as E. coli, S. aureus, and chemical substance lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were applied to Rana chensinensis tadpoles at different developmental stages, and antimicrobial peptide expression levels were detected by RT-PCR. Bioinformatics analysis and 5'-RACE and genome walking technologies were employed to analyze the genome structure and promoter region of the antimicrobial peptide genes. With dual-luciferase reporter gene assays, yeast one-hybrid experiment and EMSA assays, we assessed the regulatory effect of the endogenous regulators of the cell on the antimicrobial peptide promoter.
Results: The transcription levels of prepropalustrin-2CE2 and preprobrevinin-2CE3 were significantly upregulated after different stimulations. Genomic structure analysis showed that both genes contained three exons and two introns. Promoter analysis indicated that there are binding sites for regulatory factors of the NF-κB family in the promoter region, and experiments showed that endogenous NF-κB family regulatory factors in frog cells activate the promoters of the antimicrobial peptide genes. Yeast one-hybrid experiment and EMSA assay demonstrated that RelA and NF-κB1 might interact with specific motifs in the prepropalustrin-2CE2 promoter.
Conclusion: In this paper, we found that the gene expression levels of the antimicrobial peptides, palustrin-2CE2 and brevinin-2CE3, in R. chensinensis will increase under environmental stimuli, and we verified that the changes in gene expression levels are affected by the transcription factors RelA and NF-κB1. The yeast one-hybrid experiment and EMSA assay confirmed that RelA and NF-κB1 could directly interact with the frog antimicrobial peptide gene promoter, providing new data for the regulatory mechanism of antimicrobial peptides in response to environmental stimuli.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), NF-κB, RelA, innate immunity, promoter, R. chensinensis
College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian, School of life science and technology, Xidian University, Xian, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian, College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian