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Open AccessArticle

Stress-Induced Mucus Secretion and Its Composition by a Combination of Proteomics and Metabolomics of the Jellyfish Aurelia coerulea

College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China
Department of Marine Biotechnology, Faculty of Naval Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
Department of Ship Hygiene, Faculty of Navy Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
Clinical Medicine, Grade 2015, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine Identification, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences (DISTAV), University of Genova, Viale Benedetto XV 5, I-16132 Genova, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(9), 341;
Received: 24 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 9 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
PDF [6117 KB, uploaded 18 September 2018]


Background: Jellyfish respond quickly to external stress that stimulates mucus secretion as a defense. Neither the composition of secreted mucus nor the process of secretion are well understood. Methods: Aurelia coerulea jellyfish were stimulated by removing them from environmental seawater. Secreted mucus and tissue samples were then collected within 60 min, and analyzed by a combination of proteomics and metabolomics using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS/MS), respectively. Results: Two phases of sample collection displayed a quick decrease in volume, followed by a gradual increase. A total of 2421 and 1208 proteins were identified in tissue homogenate and secreted mucus, respectively. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that the mucus-enriched proteins are mainly located in extracellular or membrane-associated regions, while the tissue-enriched proteins are distributed throughout intracellular compartments. Tryptamine, among 16 different metabolites, increased with the largest-fold change value of 7.8 in mucus, which is consistent with its involvement in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway ‘tryptophan metabolism’. We identified 11 metalloproteinases, four serpins, three superoxide dismutases and three complements, and their presence was speculated to be related to self-protective defense. Conclusions: Our results provide a composition profile of proteins and metabolites in stress-induced mucus and tissue homogenate of A. coerulea. This provides insight for the ongoing endeavors to discover novel bioactive compounds. The large increase of tryptamine in mucus may indicate a strong stress response when jellyfish were taken out of seawater and the active self-protective components such as enzymes, serpins and complements potentially play a key role in innate immunity of jellyfish. View Full-Text
Keywords: jellyfish; Aurelia coerulea; mucus; proteomics; metabolomics jellyfish; Aurelia coerulea; mucus; proteomics; metabolomics

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Liu, W.; Mo, F.; Jiang, G.; Liang, H.; Ma, C.; Li, T.; Zhang, L.; Xiong, L.; Mariottini, G.L.; Zhang, J.; Xiao, L. Stress-Induced Mucus Secretion and Its Composition by a Combination of Proteomics and Metabolomics of the Jellyfish Aurelia coerulea. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 341.

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