A fragment of a homolog of the complement component C3 gene was cloned and sequenced from the starfish Asterias rubens. A phylogenetic analysis of the gene, termed ArC3-like, demonstrated its close similarity to the C3 gene homolog of deuterostome invertebrates. A high level of ArC3-like mRNA expression was observed in circulating cells (coelomocytes), a gut derivate (hepatopancreas), and the male gonad, but not in the stomach, female gonad, and rectal gland of A. rubens. ArC3-like gene expression was detected in all types of starfish coelomocytes, including lymphocyte-like cells and granular and nongranular amebocytes. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injected into the coelomic cavity of starfish increased the ArC3-like gene expression in coelomocytes and the hepatopancreas as compared to the control level (sterile sea water injection). The level of ArC3-like gene expression in coelomocytes in response to LPS reached its maximum 6 h after the injection and decreased to the baseline level 24 h after the injection. In the hepatopancreas, the level of ArC3-like gene expression reached its maximum 6-12 h after the LPS injection stimulation and remained high even 48 h after the injection. A long-term upregulation in response to LPS was demonstrated for the ArC3-like gene.
- Complement component C3
- Innate immunity