In the present study, an extracellular copper—zinc superoxide dismutase (ecCuZnSOD) gene and a mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (mtMnSOD) gene were cloned from hemocytes of red claw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus. The open reading frame (ORF) of ecCuZnSOD is 498 bp and encodes a 166 amino acids (aa) protein, whereas the ORF of mtMnSOD is 654 bp and encodes a 218 aa protein. The amino acid sequences of C. quadricarinatus ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD showed high similarities with those of ecCuZnSODs and mtMnSODs of other crustaceans, respectively. Both ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD of C. quadricarinatus were highly expressed in hepatopancreas, hemocytes, intestine, and gill; low transcript levels were seen in other tissues (heart, muscle, and nerve). The immune responses of ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD were studied following inoculation with Spiroplasma eriocheiris and Aeromonas hydrophila. After S. eriocheiris or A. hydrophila challenge, mRNA transcription of ecCuZnSOD and mtMnSOD in hemocytes and gill was upregulated. mRNA transcription of ecCuZnSOD in the hepatopancreas was also upregulated after S. eriocheiris or A. hydrophila inoculation. mtMnSOD in hepatopancreas was upregulated after A. hydrophila inoculation, whereas this was down-regulated after S. eriocheiris challenge. After S. eriocheiris and A. hydrophila challenge, total SOD activity and CuZnSOD activity both increased compared to control group. The results showed that these SODs from C. quadricarinatus likely play an important role in protecting some tissues from reactive oxygen intermediates produced during challenge from S. eriocheiris and A. hydrophila.
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Vol. 31 • No. 11