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Type: Journal article
Title: Identification and functional characterization of a novel monotreme-specific antibacterial protein expressed during lactation
Author: Bisana, S.
Kumar, S.
Rismiller, P.
Nicol, S.
Lefevre, C.
Nicholas, K.
Sharp, J.
Citation: PLoS One, 2013; 8(1):1-12
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1932-6203
Statement of
Swathi Bisana, Satish Kumar, Peggy Rismiller, Stewart C. Nicol, Christophe Lefèvre, Kevin R. Nicholas, Julie A. Sharp
Abstract: Monotremes are the only oviparous mammals and exhibit a fascinating combination of reptilian and mammalian characters. They represent a component of synapsidal reproduction by laying shelled eggs which are incubated outside the mother’s body. This is accompanied by a prototherian lactation process, marking them as representatives of early mammals. The only extant monotremes are the platypus, and the short- and long- beaked echidnas, and their distributions are limited to Australia and New Guinea. Apart for a short weaning period, milk is the sole source of nutrition and protection for the hatchlings which are altricial and immunologically naive. The duration of lactation in these mammals is prolonged relative to the gestational length and period of incubation of eggs. Much of the development of monotreme young occurs in the non-sterile ex-utero environment. Therefore the role of milk in the growth, development and disease protection of the young is of significant interest. By sequencing the cDNA of cells harvested from monotreme milk, we have identified a novel monotreme- specific transcript, and the corresponding gene was designated as the EchAMP. The expression profile of this gene in various tissues revealed that it is highly expressed in milk cells. The peptides corresponding to the EchAMP protein have been identified in a sample of echidna milk In silico analysis indicated putative antimicrobial potential for the cognate protein of EchAMP. This was further confirmed by in vitro assays using a host of bacteria. Interestingly, EchAMP did not display any activity against a commensal gut floral species. These results support the hypothesis of enhancement of survival of the young by antimicrobial bioactives of mammary gland origin and thus emphasize the protective, non- nutritional role of milk in mammals.
Keywords: Milk; Animals; Echidna; Humans; Bacteria; Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides; Protein Sorting Signals; RNA, Messenger; Culture Media, Conditioned; Microbial Sensitivity Tests; Gene Expression Profiling; Transfection; Computational Biology; Species Specificity; Gene Expression Regulation; Protein Processing, Post-Translational; Amino Acid Sequence; Protein Structure, Secondary; Glycosylation; Lactation; Genome; Molecular Sequence Data; Female; HEK293 Cells; Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Rights: © 2013 Bisana et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
RMID: 0020124874
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053686
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications

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