Three tetraspanins from Chinese shrimp, Fenneropenaeus chinensis, may play important roles in WSSV infection
Three members of the tetraspanin/TM4SF superfamily were cloned from Chinese shrimp, Fenneropenaeus chinensis. The deduced amino acid sequences of the three proteins have typical motifs of the tetraspanin/TM4SF superfamily. Phylogenetic analysis of the proteins, together with the known tetraspanins of invertebrates and vertebrates, revealed that they belong to different tetraspanin subfamilies: CD9, CD63 and tetraspanin-3. The three cloned genes of CD9, CD63 and tetraspanin-3 showed apparently different tissue distributions. The CD9 gene (FcCD9) was specifically expressed in the hepatopancreas. While for the CD63 gene (FcCD63), the highest expression was detected in nerves, epidermis and heart, with low expression in haemocytes, ovary, gill, hepatopancreas and stomach and no expression in intestine, muscle and lymphoid organ. Compared with FcCD9 and FcCD63, the tetraspanin-3 gene (FcTetraspanin-3) was more broadly expressed and its highest expression was detected in the intestine. Its expression in nerves was lower than in the intestine, but was higher than in other tissues. Expression in haemocytes, ovary and muscle was much lower than in other tissues. The expression profiles of FcCD9, FcCD63 and FcTetraspanin-3 in different tissues, including haemocytes, lymphoid organ and hepatopancreas, were compared by real-time PCR when shrimp were challenged by live white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and heat-inactivated WSSV. All three tetraspanins were markedly up-regulated in the live WSSV-challenged shrimp tissues. The data suggested that the three cloned members of TM4SF superfamily in Chinese shrimp may play a key role in the route of WSSV infection.