Chen, L., Huang, R., Zhu, D., Wang, Y., Mehjabin, R., Li, Y., Liao, L., He, L., Zhu, Z., Wang, Y. (2018) Cloning of six serpin genes and their responses to GCRV infection in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Fish & shellfish immunology. 86:93-100.
Grass carp, an economically important aquaculture fish, is very sensitive to Grass Carp Reovirus (GCRV). Haemorrhagic disease caused by GCRV infection can cause large-scale death of first-year grass carp, thereby severely restricting the intensive culture. Serpins (serine protease inhibitors) belong to the protease inhibitor gene family and are involved in numerous physiological and pathological processes, particularly coagulation and anticoagulation. Reports on grass carp serpins are scarce. Thus, we cloned six grass carp serpin genes (serpinb1, serpinc1, serpind1, serpinf1, serpinf2b and serping1) in this study. Molecular evolution showed that serpins between grass carp and zebrafish or carp are the closest relatives. SERPIN domains in these 6 serpins and reactive centre loop (RCL) along with their cleavage sites of 5 serpins (serpinb1, serpinc1, serpind1, serpinf2b and serping1) were predicted. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) showed that these serpins displayed tissue significance. Among them, serpinc1, serpind1, serpinf2b and serping1 had the highest expression levels in the liver. After GCRV infection, RT-qPCR showed that the liver-enriched serpins were significantly changed. Key procoagulant factor genes (kng-1, f2, f3a, f3b and f7) and anticoagulant genes (tpa, plg, thbd, proc and pros) also showed significant changes on the mRNA level. Comprehensive comparative analysis showed that the up-regulated expression of key clotting factor genes was more prominent than that of main anti-coagulation factor genes. Thus, the function of coagulation may be more dominant in grass carp during the GCRV infection, which may cause overproduction of thrombi. The serpins were involved in GCRV infection and liver-enriched serpins participate in the interaction between coagulation and anticoagulation. This study provided new insights into further research on the biological functions of grass carp serpins and clarifying the molecular mechanism of GCRV affecting the homeostasis of grass carp blood environment.