TitleLocalization of a symbiosis-related protein, sym32, in the Anthopleura elegantissima-Symbiodinium muscatinei association
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSchwarz, JA, Weis, VM
JournalBiological Bulletin
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses are widespread in the marine environment. Growing concern over the health of coral reef ecosystems has revealed a fundamental lack of knowledge of how cnidarian-algal associations are regulated at the cellular and molecular level. We are interested in identifying genes that mediate interactions between the partners, and we are using the temperate sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima as a model. We previously described a host gene, sym32, encoding a fasciclin domain protein, that is differentially expressed in symbiotic and aposymbiotic A. elegantissima. Here, we describe the subcellular localization of the sym32 protein. In aposymbiotic (symbiont-free) hosts, sym32 was located in vesicles that occur along the apical edges of gastrodermal cells. In symbiotic hosts, such vesicles were absent, but sym32 was present within the symbiosome membranes. Sym32 (or a cross-reactive protein) was also present in the accumulation bodies of the symbionts. Although the anti-sym32 antiserum was not sufficiently specific to detect the target protein in cultured Symbiodinium bermudense cells, Western blots of proteins from two Symbiodinium species revealed a protein doublet of 45 and 48 kDa, suggesting that the symbionts may also produce a fasciclin domain protein. We suggest that host sym32 is relocated from gastrodermal vesicles to the symbiosome membrane when symbionts are taken into host cells by phagocytosis.

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