A bone morphogenetic protein regulates the shell formation of Crassostrea gigas under ocean acidification

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are key factors controlling osteoblast differentiation, which have been proved to be involved in the hard tissue formation of marine mollusks. In the present study, a member of BMPs gene (CgBMP7) was identified from Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas (C. gigas) with the aim to understand its possible role in the regulation of shell formation under ocean acidification (OA) conditions. The open reading frame (ORF) of CgBMP7 was of 1254 bp encoding a polypeptide of 417 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of CgBMP7 was comprised of one signal peptide, one prodomain and one TGF-β domain, which shared 21.69%-61.10% identities with those from other species. The mRNA transcript of CgBMP7 was ubiquitously expressed in all the tested tissues of adult oysters with a higher expression level in mantle, notably highest in the middle fold of the three folds of mantle. The expression level of bone morphogenetic protein type I receptor (CgBMPR1B) mRNA was also highest in the MF and up-regulated dramatically post recombinant BMP7 protein (rCgBMP7) stimulation. After the blockage of BMPR1B with inhibitor LDN193189 (LDN), the mRNA expression level and phosphorylation level of CgSmad1/5/8 in mantle were decreased, and the mRNA expression level of CgCaM and Cgengrailed-1 were down-regulated significantly. During the oysters were exposed to acidified seawater for weeks, the expression levels of CgBMP7, CgBMPR1B and CgSmad1/5/8 in the middle fold of mantle decreased significantly (p < 0.01) at the 4th week, and CgCaM and Cgengrailed-1 also exhibited the same variable expression patterns as CgBMP7. In addition, the growth of shell in the treatment group (pH 7.8) was slower than that in the control group (pH 8.1). These results collectively indicated that BMP7 was able to trigger the BMPR-Smad signaling pathway and involved in controlling the formation of oyster calcified shell under OA conditions.

Gao Y., Liu Z., Zhu T., Xin X., Jin Y., Wang L., Liu C. & Song L., 2023. A bone morphogenetic protein regulates the shell formation of Crassostrea gigas under ocean acidification. Gene: 147687. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2023.147687. Article (subscription required).

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