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Open AccessArticle

Molecular Diversity of Mytilin-Like Defense Peptides in Mytilidae (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy
National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, 34151 Trieste, Italy
Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, 80121 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antibiotics 2020, 9(1), 37;
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 15 January 2020 / Published: 19 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Antimicrobials)
The CS-αβ architecture is a structural scaffold shared by a high number of small, cationic, cysteine-rich defense peptides, found in nearly all the major branches of the tree of life. Although several CS-αβ peptides involved in innate immune response have been described so far in bivalve mollusks, a clear-cut definition of their molecular diversity is still lacking, leaving the evolutionary relationship among defensins, mytilins, myticins and other structurally similar antimicrobial peptides still unclear. In this study, we performed a comprehensive bioinformatic screening of the genomes and transcriptomes available for marine mussels (Mytilida), redefining the distribution of mytilin-like CS-αβ peptides, which in spite of limited primary sequence similarity maintain in all cases a well-conserved backbone, stabilized by four disulfide bonds. Variations in the size of the alpha-helix and the two antiparallel beta strand region, as well as the positioning of the cysteine residues involved in the formation of the C1–C5 disulfide bond might allow a certain degree of structural flexibility, whose functional implications remain to be investigated. The identification of mytilins in Trichomya and Perna spp. revealed that many additional CS-αβ AMPs remain to be formally described and functionally characterized in Mytilidae, and suggest that a more robust scheme should be used for the future classification of such peptides with respect with their evolutionary origin. View Full-Text
Keywords: bivalves; mussels; antimicrobial peptides; innate immunity; defensins bivalves; mussels; antimicrobial peptides; innate immunity; defensins
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MDPI and ACS Style

Greco, S.; Gerdol, M.; Edomi, P.; Pallavicini, A. Molecular Diversity of Mytilin-Like Defense Peptides in Mytilidae (Mollusca, Bivalvia). Antibiotics 2020, 9, 37.

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