Author(s): Wang PH, Gu ZH, Wan DH, Liu BD, Huang XD,
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Abstract The IκB kinases IKKα and IKKβ and the IKK-related kinases TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and IKKε are the master regulators of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Although this pathway has been extensively studied in mammals, less attention has been paid in crustaceans, which have significant economic value. Here, we report the cloning and functional studies of two IKK homologs, LvIKKβ and LvIKKε, from Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. LvIKKβ and LvIKKε mRNAs are widely expressed in different tissues and are responsive to white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection. When overexpressed in Drosophila S2 cells, LvIKKβ but not LvIKKε activates the promoters of NF-κB pathway-controlled antimicrobial peptide genes (AMPs), such as the Penaeidins (PENs). In HEK 293T cells, both LvIKKβ and LvIKKε activate an NF-κB reporter. The silencing of LvIKKβ or LvIKKε using double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) decreases the expression of L. vannamei AMPs, including PENs, lysozyme and crustins. Intriguingly, LvIKKβ- or LvIKKε-silenced L. vannamei are resistant to WSSV infection. We hypothesized that successful infection with WSSV requires the activation of the IKK-NF-κB signaling pathway to modulate viral gene expression. We constructed luciferase reporters for 147 WSSV genes. By screening, we found that the WSV051, WSV059, WSV069, WSV083, WSV090, WSV107, WSV244, WSV303, WSV371 and WSV445 promoters can be activated by LvIKKβ or LvIKKε in Drosophila S2 cells. Taken together, our results reveal that LvIKKβ and LvIKKε may participate in the regulation of shrimp AMPs and that WSSV may subvert the L. vannamei IKK-NF-κB signaling pathway to facilitate viral gene expression.
This article was published in Cell Mol Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development