Characterization of genes involved in ceramide metabolism in the Pacific oyster

Characterization of genes involved in ceramide metabolism in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas

BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:502, DOI 10.1186/1756-0500-5-502

Authors: Timmins-Schiffman E, Roberts SB

Ceramide metabolism is an important part of the vertebrate response to a variety of environmental stressors.  Accumulation of ceramide, a lipid, can lead to stress-induced apoptosis.  We investigated the conservation of this pathway in invertebrates using the Pacific oyster as a model.  Using both in silico and in vivo methods, we identified multiple genes from the vertebrate ceramide metabolism pathway in the Pacific oyster and sequenced four of these genes.  We also measured the expression of these genes in response to a bacterial exposure to determine if ceramide metabolism may be part of the invertebrate stress response.  Genes involved in ceramide generation and break-down are present in the Pacific oyster.  The results from gene expression assays also suggested that ceramide metabolism may be a component of the invertebrate stress response, supporting that the form and function of this pathway are conserved in invertebrates.

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