Comparative Phospho- and Acetyl Proteomics Analysis of Posttranslational Modifications Regulating Intestine Regeneration in Sea Cucumbers.
ABSTRACT: Sea cucumbers exposed to stressful circumstances eviscerate most internal organs, and then regenerate them rapidly under favorable environments. Reversible protein phosphorylation and acetylation are major modifications regulating protein function. Herein, for the first time, we perform quantitative phospho- and acetyl proteomics analyses of intestine regeneration in a sea cucumber species Apostichopus japonicus. We identified 1,862 phosphorylation sites in 1,169 proteins, and 712 acetylation sites in 470 proteins. Of the 147 and 251 proteins differentially modified by phosphorylation and acetylation, respectively, most were related to cytoskeleton biogenesis, protein synthesis and modification, signal recognition and transduction, energy production and conversion, or substance transport and metabolism. Phosphorylation appears to play a more important role in signal recognition and transduction than acetylation, while acetylation is of greater importance in posttranslational modification, protein turnover, chaperones; energy production and conversion; amino acid and lipid transport and metabolism. These results expanded our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of posttranslational modifications in intestine regeneration of sea cucumbers after evisceration.
Project description:Acute peristome edema disease (APED) is a new disease that broke out in cultured sea cucumber along the Shangdong and Liaoning province coasts in China, PR, and has caused a great deal of death in Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) since 2004. Here we report virus-like particles found in intestine epithelium of sea cucumbers reared in North China. It is the first time that sea cucumbers are reported to be infected by virus. Histological examinations showed that the viral inclusion bodies existed in intestine epithelium cells. Electron microscopic examinations show that the virions were spherical, 80-100nm in diameter, and composed of a helical nucleocapsid within an envelope with surface projections. Detailed studies on the morphogenesis of these viruses found many characteristics previously described for coronaviruses. Virus particles always congregated, and formed a virus vesicle with an encircling membrane. The most obvious cellular pathologic feature is large granular areas of cytoplasm, relatively devoid of organelles. Tubular structures within virus-containing vesicles, nucleocapsid inclusions, and double-membrane vesicles are also found in the cytopathic cells. No rickettsia, chlamydia, bacteria, or other parasitic organisms were found.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bioturbators affect multiple biogeochemical interactions and have been suggested as suitable candidates to mitigate organic matter loading in marine sediments. However, predicting the effects of bioturbators at an ecosystem level can be difficult due to their complex positive and negative interactions with the microbial community. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We quantified the effects of deposit-feeding sea cucumbers on benthic algal biomass (microphytobenthos, MPB), bacterial abundance, and the sediment-seawater exchange of dissolved oxygen and nutrients. The sea cucumbers increased the efflux of inorganic nitrogen (ammonium, NH(4) (+)) from organically enriched sediments, which stimulated algal productivity. Grazing by the sea cucumbers on MPB (evidenced by pheopigments), however, caused a net negative effect on primary producer biomass and total oxygen production. Further, there was an increased abundance of bacteria in sediment with sea cucumbers, suggesting facilitation. The sea cucumbers increased the ratio of oxygen consumption to production in surface sediment by shifting the microbial balance from producers to decomposers. This shift explains the increased efflux of inorganic nitrogen and concordant reduction in organic matter content in sediment with bioturbators. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study demonstrates the functional role and potential of sea cucumbers to ameliorate some of the adverse effects of organic matter enrichment in coastal ecosystems.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea; Echinodermata) have the capacity to regenerate lost tissues and organs. Although the histological and cytological aspects of intestine regeneration have been extensively studied, little is known of the genetic mechanisms involved. There has, however, been a renewed effort to develop a database of Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) in Apostichopus japonicus, an economically-important species that occurs in China. This is important for studies on genetic breeding, molecular markers and special physiological phenomena. We have also constructed a library of ESTs obtained from the regenerative body wall and intestine of A. japonicus. The database has increased to ~30000 ESTs. RESULTS: We used RNA-Seq to determine gene expression profiles associated with intestinal regeneration in A. japonicus at 3, 7, 14 and 21 days post evisceration (dpe). This was compared to profiles obtained from a normally-functioning intestine. Approximately 5 million (M) reads were sequenced in every library. Over 2400 up-regulated genes (>10%) and over 1000 down-regulated genes (~5%) were observed at 3 and 7dpe (log2Ratio ? 1, FDR ? 0.001). Specific "Go terms" revealed that the DEGs (Differentially Expressed Genes) performed an important function at every regeneration stage. Besides some expected pathways (for example, Ribosome and Spliceosome pathway term), the "Notch signaling pathway," the "ECM-receptor interaction" and the "Cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction" were significantly enriched. We also investigated the expression profiles of developmental genes, ECM-associated genes and Cytoskeletal genes. Twenty of the most important differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were verified by Real-time PCR, which resulted in a trend concordance of almost 100% between the two techniques. CONCLUSION: Our studies demonstrated dynamic changes in global gene expression during intestine regeneration and presented a series of candidate genes and enriched pathways that contribute to intestine regeneration in sea cucumbers. This provides a foundation for future studies on the genetics/molecular mechanisms associated with intestine regeneration.
Project description:The lack of a reliable and innocuous mark-recapture method has limited studies that would provide essential information for the management of commercial sea cucumbers. Tagging sea cucumbers is notoriously difficult because of their plastic nature and autolysis capacities. The markers that have so far been tested, mainly on or through the body wall, were either lost rapidly or had major drawbacks (e.g. suitable only for batch identification, requiring complex analysis, causing infections, necrosis, behavioural changes and mortality). The present study explored the efficacy of passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags for individually marking sea cucumbers by assessing retention rates and long-term side effects of tags inserted in previously unstudied tissues/organs. Individuals of the species Cucumaria frondosa were tagged in the body wall, aquapharyngeal bulb and at the base of the oral tentacles. They were monitored closely for evidence of stress, infection, change in feeding and spawning behaviour and tag retention rate. Implanting the tag in an oral tentacle to reach the hydrovascular system of the aquapharyngeal bulb achieved the best retention rates in full-size individuals: from a maximum of 92% after 30 days to 68% at the end of the experimental period (300 days). Efficacy was lower in smaller individuals (84% after 30 d and 42% after 300 d). Following a slight increase in cloacal movements for 15 h post tagging, no side effect was noted in sea cucumbers tagged in the aquapharyngeal bulb via the tentacles. Feeding and spawning behaviours were not affected and no signs of infections or abnormal cell development in the vicinity of the tags were observed. This study indicates that marking sea cucumbers with 8.2 mm long PIT tags implanted via the oral tentacle is an effective technique, yielding relatively high retention rates over long periods without any detectable physiological or behavioural effects.
Project description:Fucosylated chondroitin sulfates (FCSs) from sea cucumbers have repetitive structures that exhibit minor structural differences based on the organism from which they are recovered. A detailed characterization of FCSs and their derivatives is important to establish their structure-activity relationship in the development of new anticoagulant drugs. In the current study, online hydrophilic interaction chromatography-Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FTMS) was applied to analyze the FCS oligosaccharides generated by selective degradation from four species of sea cucumbers, Isostichopus badionotus, Pearsonothuria graeffei, Holothuria mexicana and Acaudina molpadioides. These depolymerized FCS fragments were quantified and compared using the glycomics software package, GlycReSoft. The quantified fragments mainly had trisaccharide-repeating compositions and showed significant differences in fucosylation (including its sulfation) among different species of sea cucumbers. Detailed analysis of FTMS ion peaks and top-down nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of native FCS polysaccharides verified the accuracy of this method. Thus, a new structural model for FCS chains from these different sea cucumbers was defined. This bottom-up approach provides rich detailed structural analysis and provides quantitative information with high accuracy and reproducibility and should be suitable for the quality control in FCSs as well as their oligosaccharides.
Project description:We applied high-throughput sequencing to investigate the alterations of miRNAs expression in regenerative intestine (3dpeA, 3dpeB, 3dpeC) Vs normal intestine (ControlA, ControlB, ControlC). Overall design: 9 individuals (3 biological replicates×3 sea cucumbers per biological replicate) at 3 days post evisceration (dpe) were used for our experiments (3 biological replicates: 3dpeA, 3dpeB and 3dpeC). 9 non-eviscerated sea cucumbers (3 biological replicates×3 sea cucumbers per biological replicate) served as the control (3 biological replicates: ControlA, ControlB and ControlC).
Project description:Environmental salinity is an important abiotic factor influencing normal physiological functions and productive performance in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. It is therefore important to understand how changes in salinity affect sea cucumbers in the face of global climate change. In this study, we investigated the responses to salinity stress in sea cucumbers using mRNA and miRNA sequencing. The regulatory network of mRNAs and miRNAs involved in salinity stress was examined, and the metabolic pathways enriched for differentially expressed miRNAs and target mRNAs were identified. The top 20 pathways were involved in carbohydrate metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, degradation, and elongation, amino acid metabolism, genetic information processing, metabolism of cofactors and vitamins, transport and catabolism, and environmental information processing. A total of 22 miRNAs showed differential expression during salinity acclimation. The predicted 134 target genes were enriched in functions consistent with the results of gene enrichment based on transcriptome analysis. These results suggested that sea cucumbers deal with salinity stress via changes in amino acid metabolism, ion channels, transporters, and aquaporins, under stimulation by environmental signals, and that this process requires energy from carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism. Salinity challenge also induced miRNA expression. These results provide a valuable genomic resource that extends our understanding of the unique biological characteristics of this economically important species under conditions of salinity stress.
Project description:Physiological plasticity allows animals to adjust their physiological function to abiotic and biotic variations. It has been mostly studied in the context of response to external factors and not much is known on how animals adjust their physiology to cope with variations in internal conditions. The process of reproduction implies gonadal maturation and other internal changes, bringing various challenges to the animal such as an increased demand for energy and oxygen. Here, the capacity of the sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus to adjust its respiratory function and physiological mechanisms during reproduction was studied using a time-lapse videography and metabolomics approach. The results showed that reproduction caused a significant increase in oxygen consumption in A. japonicus. Interestingly, breeding sea cucumbers can accommodate the high oxygen demand by accelerating respiratory rate. However, to maintain a necessary high level of respiratory activity during reproduction, sea cucumbers need consume large amounts of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In addition, the metabolomic data suggests that oxidative stress and hormone regulation are the physiological mechanisms linking reproduction and respiratory function. Altogether, these findings suggest that plasticity of respiratory function is an effective tactic to cope with high oxygen demand during reproduction.
Project description:Sea cucumbers have a striking capacity to regeneratemost of their viscera after evisceration, which has drawn theinterest ofmany researchers. In this study, we perform quantitative phosphoproteomics proteomic to analyze the proteinphosphorylation and acetylation changes between regenerative intestine at 3 days post evisceration (dpe) and normal intestine (intact intestine in normal situation) in A.japonicus. Altogether, 2,584 phosphorylation sites in 1,531 proteins were identified, among which 1862 phosphorylation site in 1169 proteins were quantified. When quantitative ratio of phosphorylation sites over 1.5 was considered up-regulation while quantitative ratio of phosphorylation sites below 0.67 (1/1.5) was considered as down-regulation. The amount of the up-regulatedphosphorylation quantified sites and proteins were 127 and 113; the amount of the down-regulatedphosphorylation quantified sites and proteins were 38 and 34. Totally, 886acetylation sites in 555 proteins were identified, among which 712acetylation site in 470 proteins were quantified (Table 1). When quantitative ratio of acetylation sites over 1.20 was considered up-regulation while quantitative ratio of acetylation sites below 0.83 (1/1.2) was considered as down-regulation. The amount of the up-regulatedacetylation quantified sites and proteins were 130 and 101; the amount of the down-regulatedacetylation quantified sites and proteins were 211 and 150.Our results suggest that intestine regeneration constitutes a complex lifeactivity regulated by the cooperation of various biological processes, including cytoskeletal changes, protein synthesis, signal recognition and transduction,energy production and conversion, and substance transport andmetabolism.
Project description:Background:Mono-specific aquaculture effluents contain high concentrations of nutrients and organic matter, which affect negatively the water quality of the recipient ecosystems. A fundamental feature of water quality is its transparency. The fraction of dissolved organic matter that absorbs light is named chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). A sustainable alternative to mono-specific aquaculture is the multitrophic aquaculture that includes species trophically complementary named "extractive" species that uptake the waste byproducts. Sea cucumbers are recognized as efficient extractive species due to the consumption of particulate organic matter (POM). However, the effects of sea cucumbers on CDOM are still unknown. Methods:During more than one year, we monitored CDOM in two big-volume tanks with different trophic structure. One of the tanks (-holothurian) only contained around 810 individuals of Anemonia sulcata, whereas the other tank (+holothurian) also included 90 individuals of Holothuria tubulosa and Holothuria forskali. We routinely analyzed CDOM absorption spectra and determined quantitative (absorption coefficients at 325 nm) and qualitative (spectral slopes) optical parameters in the inlet waters, within the tanks, and in their corresponding effluents. To confirm the time-series results, we also performed three experiments. Each experiment consisted of two treatments: +holothurians (+H) and -holothurians (-H). We set up three +H tanks with 80 individuals of A. sulcata and 10 individuals of H. tubulosa in each tank and four -H tanks that contained only 80 individuals of A. sulcata. Results:In the time-series, absorption coefficients at 325 nm (a325) and spectral slopes from 275 to 295 nm (S275-295) were significantly lower in the effluent of the +holothurian tank (average: 0.33 m-1 and 16 µm-1, respectively) than in the effluent of the -holothurian tank (average: 0.69 m-1 and 34 µm-1, respectively), the former being similar to those found in the inlet waters (average: 0.32 m-1 and 22 µm-1, respectively). This reduction in the absorption of the dissolved organic matter appears to be mediated by the POM consumption by holothurians. The experiments confirmed the results observed in the time-series. The a325 and S275-295 values were significantly lower in the treatment with holothurians than in the treatment without holothurians indicating a reduction in the concentration of chromophoric organic compounds, particularly of low molecular weight. Discussion:Consequently, sea cucumbers appear to improve water transparency in aquaculture tanks. The underlying mechanism of this improvement might be related to the POM consumption by holothurians, which reduces the concentration of CDOM derived from POM disaggregation or to the direct assimilation of dissolved compounds of low molecular weight as chromophoric amino acids.