The presence of multiple phenoloxidases in Caribbean reef-building corals

Mydlarz, Laura D., and Palmer, Caroline V. (2011) The presence of multiple phenoloxidases in Caribbean reef-building corals. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, 159 (4). pp. 372-378.

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The melanin-synthesis pathways, phenoloxidase (PO) and laccases, are staple components of invertebrate immunity and have been shown to be vital in disease resistance. The importance of this pathway in immunity is a consequence of the release of oxygen radicals with cytotoxic effects and the production of insoluble melanin, which aids in the encapsulation of pathogens and parasites. Recently, melanization has been demonstrated as a critical immune response in several coral systems, although the biochemical components have not been thoroughly investigated. Coral diseases are posing a serious threat to coral reef survival, necessitating a full understanding of resistance mechanisms. In this study, we take a comparative approach to probe potential pathway components of melanin-synthesis in seven species from four different families of healthy Caribbean reef-building corals. Using different quinone substrates, we tested for the activity of the POs catecholase and cresolase, as well as laccase activity in each coral species. Since many invertebrate POs demonstrate some dependence on cations such as copper, calcium and magnesium, we treated the coral extracts with the chelators EDTA and EGTA to test the reliance of coral catecholase on these cations. The activity of the antioxidants peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase was also tested in each coral and correlated to PO activity. All corals had demonstrable catecholase, cresolase and laccase activities, but only catecholase and cresolase activities varied significantly among species. Catecholase activity in each coral species was reduced by treatment with EDTA and EGTA, although some coral species were less affected than the others. Overall, these data show remarkable heterogeneity among the seven coral species of boulder-like reef building Caribbean coral. These differences may originate from the level of investment of each coral species into immunity and may explain disease ecology on the reef.

Item ID: 21368
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1531-4332
Keywords: coral immunity, phenoloxidase, laccase, melanin-synthesis pathway
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2012 04:11
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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