Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 6

Search results for: Jehee Lee

6 Application of Bacteriophages as Natural Antibiotics in Aquaculture

Authors: Chamilani Nikapitiya, Mahanama De Zoysa, Jehee Lee


Most of the bacterial diseases are associated with high mortalities in aquaculture species and causing huge economic losses. Different approaches have been taken to prevent or control of bacterial diseases including use of vaccines, probiotics, chemotherapy, water quality management, etc. Antibiotics are widely applying as chemotherapy to control bacterial diseases, however, it has been shown that frequent use of antibiotics is favored to develop multi-drug resistance bacteria. Therefore, phages and phage encoded lytic proteins are known to be one of the most promising alternatives for antibiotics to avoid the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We isolated and characterized the two lytic phages, namely pAh-1 and pAs-1 against pathogenic Aeromonas hydrophila and Aeromonas salmonicida, respectively. Morphological characteristics were analyzed by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and host strain specificities were tested with Aeromonas and other closely related bacterial strains. TEM analysis revealed that both pAh-1 and pAsm-1 are composed of an icosahedral head and a segmented tail, and we suggest that, they are new members of Myoviridae family. Genome sizes of isolated phages were estimated by restriction enzyme digestion of genomic DNA using selected endonucleases followed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Estimated genome size of pAh-1 and pAs-1 were approximately 64 Kbp and 120 Kbp, respectively. Both pAh-1 and pAs-1 have shown narrow host specificity. Moreover, protective effects of phage therapy against fish pathogenic A. hydrophila were investigated in zebrafish model. The survival rate was 40% higher when zebrafish received intra-peritoneal injection (i.p.) of pAh-1 were simultaneously challenge A. hydrophila (2 x 106 CFU/fish) compared to that without phage treatment. Overall results suggest that both pAh-1 and pAs-1 can be used as a potential phage therapy to control Aeromonas infections in aquaculture.

Keywords: Aeromonas infections, antibiotic resistance, bacteriophage, bio-control, lytic phage

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5 Antifungal Susceptibility of Saprolegnia parasitica Isolated from Rainbow Trout and Its Host Pathogen Interaction in Zebrafish Disease Model

Authors: Sangyeop Shin, D. C. M. Kulatunga, S. H. S. Dananjaya, Chamilani Nikapitiya, Jehee Lee, Mahanama De Zoysa


Saprolegniasis is one of the most devastating fungal diseases in freshwater fish which is caused by species in the genus Saprolegnia including Saprolegnia parasitica. In this study, we isolated the strain of S. parasitica from diseased rainbow trout in Korea. Morphological and molecular based identification confirmed that isolated fungi belong to the member of S. parasitica, supported by its typical fungal features including cotton-like whitish mycelium, zoospores (primary and secondary) and phylogenetic analysis with internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Pathogenicity of isolated S. parasitica was developed in embryo, larvae, juvenile and adult zebrafish as a disease model. Up regulation of host genes encoding ZfTnf-α, Zfc-Rel, ZfIl-12, ZfLyz-c, Zfβ-def, and ZfHsp-70 was identified in zebrafish larvae after experimental challenge of S. parasitica showing the host immune responses against the S. parasitica. Survival of the juveniles upon fungal infection might be due to the increased immune protection in the host. Investigation of antifungal susceptibility of S. parasitica with natural lawsone (2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) revealed the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and percentage inhibition of radial growth (PIRG %) as 200 µg/mL and 31.8%, respectively. Lawsone was able to change the membrane permeability, and cause irreversible damage and disintegration to the cellular membranes of S. parasitica which might have effect on fungi growth inhibition. Moreover, the mycelium exposed to lawsone (MIC level) changed the transcriptional responses of S. parasitica genes. Overall results indicate that lawsone could be a potential and novel anti-S. parasitica agent for controlling S. parasitica infection.

Keywords: host-pathogen interactions, lawsone, rainbow trout, Saprolegnia parasitica, Saprolegniasis, zebrafish

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4 Identification and Molecular Profiling of A Family I Cystatin Homologue from Sebastes schlegeli Deciphering Its Putative Role in Host Immunity

Authors: Don Anushka Sandaruwan Elvitigala, P. D. S. U. Wickramasinghe, Jehee Lee


Cystatins are a large superfamily of proteins which act as reversible inhibitors of cysteine proteases. Papain proteases and cysteine cathepsins are predominant substrates of cystatins. Cystatin superfamily can be further clustered into three groups as Stefins, Cystatins, and Kininogens. Among them, stefines are also known as family 1 cystatins which harbors cystatin Bs and cystatin As. In this study, a homologue of family one cystatins more close to cystatin Bs was identified from Korean black rockfish (Sebastes schlegeli) using a prior constructed cDNA (complementary deoxyribonucleic acid) database and designated as RfCyt1. The full-length cDNA of RfCyt1 consisted of 573 bp, with a coding region of 294 bp. It comprised a 5´-untranslated region (UTR) of 55 bp, and 3´-UTR of 263 bp. The coding sequence encodes a polypeptide consisting of 97 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 11kDa and theoretical isoelectric point of 6.3. The RfCyt1 shared homology with other teleosts and vertebrate species and consisted conserved features of cystatin family signature including single cystatin-like domain, cysteine protease inhibitory signature of pentapeptide (QXVXG) consensus sequence and N-terminal two conserved neighboring glycine (⁸GG⁹) residues. As expected, phylogenetic reconstruction developed using the neighbor-joining method showed that RfCyt1 is clustered with the cystatin family 1 members, in which more closely with its teleostan orthologues. An SYBR Green qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) assay was performed to quantify the RfCytB transcripts in different tissues in healthy and immune stimulated fish. RfCyt1 was ubiquitously expressed in all tissue types of healthy animals with gill and spleen being the highest. Temporal expression of RfCyt1 displayed significant up-regulation upon infection with Aeromonas salmonicida. Recombinantly expressed RfCyt1 showed concentration-dependent papain inhibitory activity. Collectively these findings evidence for detectable protease inhibitory and immunity relevant roles of RfCyt1 in Sebastes schlegeli.

Keywords: Sebastes schlegeli, family 1 cystatin, immune stimulation, expressional modulation

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3 A Kunitz-Type Serine Protease Inhibitor from Rock Bream, Oplegnathus fasciatus Involved in Immune Responses

Authors: S. D. N. K. Bathige, G. I. Godahewa, Navaneethaiyer Umasuthan, Jehee Lee


Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors (KTIs) are identified in various organisms including animals, plants and microbes. These proteins shared single or multiple Kunitz inhibitory domains link together or associated with other types of domains. Characteristic Kunitz type domain composed of around 60 amino acid residues with six conserved cysteine residues to stabilize by three disulfide bridges. KTIs are involved in various physiological processes, such as ion channel blocking, blood coagulation, fibrinolysis and inflammation. In this study, two Kunitz-type domain containing protein was identified from rock bream database and designated as RbKunitz. The coding sequence of RbKunitz encoded for 507 amino acids with 56.2 kDa theoretical molecular mass and 5.7 isoelectric point (pI). There are several functional domains including MANEC superfamily domain, PKD superfamily domain, and LDLa domain were predicted in addition to the two characteristic Kunitz domain. Moreover, trypsin interaction sites were also identified in Kunitz domain. Homology analysis revealed that RbKunitz shared highest identity (77.6%) with Takifugu rubripes. Completely conserved 28 cysteine residues were recognized, when comparison of RbKunitz with other orthologs from different taxonomical groups. These structural evidences indicate the rigidity of RbKunitz folding structure to achieve the proper function. The phylogenetic tree was constructed using neighbor-joining method and exhibited that the KTIs from fish and non-fish has been evolved in separately. Rock bream was clustered with Takifugu rubripes. The SYBR Green qPCR was performed to quantify the RbKunitz transcripts in different tissues and challenged tissues. The mRNA transcripts of RbKunitz were detected in all tissues (muscle, spleen, head kidney, blood, heart, skin, liver, intestine, kidney and gills) analyzed and highest transcripts level was detected in gill tissues. Temporal transcription profile of RbKunitz in rock bream blood tissues was analyzed upon LPS (lipopolysaccharide), Poly I:C (Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid) and Edwardsiella tarda challenge to understand the immune responses of this gene. Compare to the unchallenged control RbKunitz exhibited strong up-regulation at 24 h post injection (p.i.) after LPS and E. tarda injection. Comparatively robust expression of RbKunits was observed at 3 h p.i. upon Poly I:C challenge. Taken together all these data indicate that RbKunitz may involve into to immune responses upon pathogenic stress, in order to protect the rock bream.

Keywords: Kunitz-type, rock bream, immune response, serine protease inhibitor

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2 A Galectin from Rock Bream Oplegnathus fasciatus: Molecular Characterization and Immunological Properties

Authors: W. S. Thulasitha, N. Umasuthan, G. I. Godahewa, Jehee Lee


In fish, innate immune defense is the first immune response against microbial pathogens which consists of several antimicrobial components. Galectins are one of the carbohydrate binding lectins that have the ability to identify pathogen by recognition of pathogen associated molecular patterns. Galectins play a vital role in the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. Rock bream Oplegnathus fasciatus is one of the most important cultured species in Korea and Japan. Considering the losses due to microbial pathogens, present study was carried out to understand the molecular and functional characteristics of a galectin in normal and pathogenic conditions, which could help to establish an understanding about immunological components of rock bream. Complete cDNA of rock bream galectin like protein B (rbGal like B) was identified from the cDNA library, and the in silico analysis was carried out using bioinformatic tools. Genomic structure was derived from the BAC library by sequencing a specific clone and using Spidey. Full length of rbGal like B (contig14775) cDNA containing 517 nucleotides was identified from the cDNA library which comprised of 435 bp in the open reading frame encoding a deduced protein composed of 145 amino acids. The molecular mass of putative protein was predicted as 16.14 kDa with an isoelectric point of 8.55. A characteristic conserved galactose binding domain was located from 12 to 145 amino acids. Genomic structure of rbGal like B consisted of 4 exons and 3 introns. Moreover, pairwise alignment showed that rock bream rbGal like B shares highest similarity (95.9 %) and identity (91 %) with Takifugu rubripes galectin related protein B like and lowest similarity (55.5 %) and identity (32.4 %) with Homo sapiens. Multiple sequence alignment demonstrated that the galectin related protein B was conserved among vertebrates. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that rbGal like B protein clustered together with other fish homologs in fish clade. It showed closer evolutionary link with Takifugu rubripes. Tissue distribution and expression patterns of rbGal like B upon immune challenges were performed using qRT-PCR assays. Among all tested tissues, level of rbGal like B expression was significantly high in gill tissue followed by kidney, intestine, heart and spleen. Upon immune challenges, it showed an up-regulated pattern of expression with Edwardsiella tarda, rock bream irido virus and poly I:C up to 6 h post injection and up to 24 h with LPS. However, In the presence of Streptococcus iniae rbGal like B showed an up and down pattern of expression with the peak at 6 - 12 h. Results from the present study revealed the phylogenetic position and role of rbGal like B in response to microbial infection in rock bream.

Keywords: galectin like protein B, immune response, Oplegnathus fasciatus, molecular characterization

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1 Non-Mammalian Pattern Recognition Receptor from Rock Bream (Oplegnathus fasciatus): Genomic Characterization and Transcriptional Profile upon Bacterial and Viral Inductions

Authors: Thanthrige Thiunuwan Priyathilaka, Don Anushka Sandaruwan Elvitigala, Bong-Soo Lim, Hyung-Bok Jeong, Jehee Lee


Toll like receptors (TLRs) are a phylogeneticaly conserved family of pattern recognition receptors, which participates in the host immune responses against various pathogens and pathogen derived mitogen. TLR21, a non-mammalian type, is almost restricted to the fish species even though those can be identified rarely in avians and amphibians. Herein, this study was carried out to identify and characterize TLR21 from rock bream (Oplegnathus fasciatus) designated as RbTLR21, at transcriptional and genomic level. In this study, the full length cDNA and genomic sequence of RbTLR21 was identified using previously constructed cDNA sequence database and BAC library, respectively. Identified RbTLR21 sequence was characterized using several bioinformatics tools. The quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) experiment was conducted to determine tissue specific expressional distribution of RbTLR21. Further, transcriptional modulation of RbTLR21 upon the stimulation with Streptococcus iniae (S. iniae), rock bream iridovirus (RBIV) and Edwardsiella tarda (E. tarda) was analyzed in spleen tissues. The complete coding sequence of RbTLR21 was 2919 bp in length which can encode a protein consisting of 973 amino acid residues with molecular mass of 112 kDa and theoretical isoelectric point of 8.6. The anticipated protein sequence resembled a typical TLR domain architecture including C-terminal ectodomain with 16 leucine rich repeats, a transmembrane domain, cytoplasmic TIR domain and signal peptide with 23 amino acid residues. Moreover, protein folding pattern prediction of RbTLR21 exhibited well-structured and folded ectodomain, transmembrane domain and cytoplasmc TIR domain. According to the pair wise sequence analysis data, RbTLR21 showed closest homology with orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides) TLR21with 76.9% amino acid identity. Furthermore, our phylogenetic analysis revealed that RbTLR21 shows a close evolutionary relationship with its ortholog from Danio rerio. Genomic structure of RbTLR21 consisted of single exon similar to its ortholog of zebra fish. Sevaral putative transcription factor binding sites were also identified in 5ʹ flanking region of RbTLR21. The RBTLR 21 was ubiquitously expressed in all the tissues we tested. Relatively, high expression levels were found in spleen, liver and blood tissues. Upon induction with rock bream iridovirus, RbTLR21 expression was upregulated at the early phase of post induction period even though RbTLR21 expression level was fluctuated at the latter phase of post induction period. Post Edwardsiella tarda injection, RbTLR transcripts were upregulated throughout the experiment. Similarly, Streptococcus iniae induction exhibited significant upregulations of RbTLR21 mRNA expression in the spleen tissues. Collectively, our findings suggest that RbTLR21 is indeed a homolog of TLR21 family members and RbTLR21 may be involved in host immune responses against bacterial and DNA viral infections.

Keywords: rock bream, toll like receptor 21 (TLR21), pattern recognition receptor, genomic characterization

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