The cell apoptosis susceptibility (CAS) gene is a homolog of the yeast chromosome segregation (CSE1) gene, which functions in cell proliferation and apoptosis. In the present study, a homolog of CAS was cloned from Chinese shrimp Fenneropenaeus chinensis (FcCAS). The full-length FcCAS cDNA is 3534 bp and contains an open reading frame encoding 968 amino acids. The predicted tertiary FcCAS structure is highly similar to that of CSE1 from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. RT-PCR analysis showed that the FcCAS gene is expressed mainly in testis, ovary, stomach, lymphoid organs, gills, and hemocytes. RNA in situ hybridization showed that FcCAS transcripts were distributed mainly in the cytoplasm of oocytes. Western blot analysis showed that FcCAS could be detected only in testis and ovary, and its expression levels differed at different developmental stages of ovaries. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that FcCAS existed in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus, which suggested that FcCAS might function as a nuclear protein. No transcript was detected in the abnormally developed ovaries of triploid shrimp. Therefore, we inferred that the FcCAS gene might be one of the key genes that is closely related to ovary development in shrimp.
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