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Open AccessArticle

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

1
Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy
2
National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, 34151 Trieste, Italy
3
Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, 80121 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antibiotics 2020, 9(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9010037
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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