Myticins are cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides highly expressed in hemocytes of Mytilus galloprovincialis
. Along with other antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), myticins are potent effectors in the mussel immune response to pathogenic infections. As intertidal filter-feeders, mussels are constantly exposed to mutable environmental conditions, as well as to the presence of many pathogens, and myticins may be key players in the great ability of these organisms to withstand these conditions. These AMPs are known to be characterized by a remarkable sequence diversity, which was further explored in this work, thanks to the analysis of the recently released genome sequencing data from 16 specimens. Altogether, we collected 120 different sequence variants, evidencing the important impact of presence/absence variation and positive selection in shaping the repertoire of myticin genes of each individual. From a functional point of view, both the isoelectric point (pI) and the predicted charge of the mature peptide show unusually low values compared with other cysteine-rich AMPs, reinforcing previous observations that myticins may have accessory functions not directly linked with microbe killing. Finally, we report the presence of highly conserved regulatory elements in the promoter region of myticin genes, which might explain their strong hemocyte-specific expression.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited