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Molecular cloning and tissue expression of the fatty acid-binding protein (Es-FABP) gene in female Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

Ya-Nan Gong, Wei-Wei Li, Jiang-Ling Sun, Fei Ren, Lin He, Hui Jiang and Qun Wang*

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School of Life Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China

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BMC Molecular Biology 2010, 11:71  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-11-71

Published: 16 September 2010



Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs), small cytosolic proteins that function in the uptake and utilization of fatty acids, have been extensively studied in higher vertebrates while invertebrates have received little attention despite similar nutritional requirements during periods of reproductive activity.


Therefore, a cDNA encoding Eriocheir sinensis FABP (Es-FABP) was cloned based upon EST analysis of a hepatopancreas cDNA library. The full length cDNA was 750 bp and encoded a 131 aa polypeptide that was highly homologous to related genes reported in shrimp. The 9108 bp Es-FABP gene contained four exons that were interrupted by three introns, a genomic organization common among FABP multigene family members in vertebrates. Gene expression analysis, as determined by RT-PCR, revealed the presence of Es-FABP transcripts in hepatopancreas, hemocytes, ovary, gills, muscle, thoracic ganglia, heart, and intestine, but not stomach or eyestalk. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that Es-FABP expression in ovary, hemocytes, and hepatopancreas was dependent on the status of ovarian development, with peak expression observed in January.


Evidence provided in the present report supports a role of Es-FABP in lipid transport during the period of rapid ovarian growth in E. sinensis, and indirectly confirms the participation of the hepatopancreas, ovary, and hemocytes in lipid nutrient absorption and utilization processes.