Expression pattern of arenicins - the antimicrobial peptides of polychaete Arenicola marina

Arina Maltseva, Olga Kotenko, Vladimir Kokryakov, Igor Starunov, Anna Krasnodembskaya

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Immune responses of invertebrate animals are mediated through innate mechanisms, among which production of antimicrobial peptides play an important role. Although evolutionary Polychaetes represent an interesting group closely related to a putative common ancestor of other coelomates, their immune mechanisms still remain scarcely investigated. Previously our group has identified arenicins - new antimicrobial peptides of the lugworm Arenicola marina, since then these peptides were thoroughly characterized in terms of their structure and inhibitory potential. In the present study we addressed the question of the physiological functions of arenicins in the lugworm body. Using molecular and immunocytochemical methods we demonstrated that arencins are expressed in the wide range of the lugworm tissues - coelomocytes, body wall, extravasal tissue and the gut. The expression of arenicins is constitutive and does not depend on stimulation of various infectious stimuli. Most intensively arenicins are produced by mature coelomocytes where they function as killing agents inside the phagolysosome. In the gut and the body wall epithelia arenicins are released from producing cells via secretion as they are found both inside the epithelial cells and in the contents of the cuticle. Collectively our study showed that arenicins are found in different body compartments responsible for providing a first line of defence against infections, which implies their important role as key components of both epithelial and systemic branches of host defence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120063
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2014


  • antimicrobial peptides; invertebrate immunity; coelomocytes; Arenicola marina; annelid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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