Pan, C.Y., Peng, K.C., Lin, C.H., and Chen, J.Y. (2011) Transgenic expression of tilapia hepcidin 1-5 and shrimp chelonianin in zebrafish and their resistance to bacterial pathogens. Fish & shellfish immunology. 31(2):275-85.
Recently, tilapia hepcidin (TH)1-5 was characterized, and its antimicrobial functions against several pathogens were reported. The antimicrobial functions of another shrimp antimicrobial peptide (AMP), chelonianin, were also characterized using a recombinant chelonianin protein (rcf) that was expressed by a stably transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line against pathogen infections in fish. The function of the overexpression of both AMPs in zebrafish muscles was not examined in previous studies. Herein, we investigated the antimicrobial functions of TH1-5 and chelonianin against Vibrio vulnificus (204) and Streptococcus agalactiae (SA48) in transgenic TH1-5 zebrafish and transgenic chelonianin zebrafish. The presence of TH1-5 and chelonianin enhanced the inhibitory ability in transgenic AMP zebrafish against the two different bacterial infections. The bacterial number of either V. vulnificus (204) or S. agalactiae (SA48) had decreased at 96 h after injection into transgenic AMP zebrafish muscle compared to non-transgenic zebrafish muscle. Additionally, immune-related gene expressions analyzed by real-time PCR studies showed the modulation of several genes including interleukin (IL)-10, IL-22, IL-26, MyD88, Toll-like receptor (TLR)-1, TLR-3, TLR-4, nuclear factor (NF)-κB, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and lysozyme, and significant differences were found between transgenic AMP zebrafish and wild-type zebrafish injected with PBS at 1-24 h. These results suggest that several immune-related gene expressions were induced in transgenic TH1-5 and chelonianin zebrafish which effectively inhibited bacterial growth. The survival rate dropped to 86.6% in transgenic chelonianin zebrafish after 28 days of infection compared of the 50% survival rate in transgenic TH1-5 zebrafish after 28 days of infection. Overall, these results indicate that TH1-5 and chelonianin possess the potential to be novel candidate genes for aquaculture applications to treat fish diseases.