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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Molecular cloning and expression analysis of peptidase genes in the fish-pathogenic scuticociliate Miamiensis avidus

Jung Soo Seo1, Eun Ji Jeon1, Sung Hee Jung1, Myoung Ae Park1, Jin Woo Kim2, Ki Hong Kim3, Sung Ho Woo4 and Eun Hye Lee1*

Author affiliations

1 Pathology Division, National Fisheries Research & Development Institute (NFRDI), 152-1, Haean-Lo, Gijang-Up, Gijang-Gun, Busan 619-705, South Korea

2 Aquatic Life Disease Control Division, NFRDI, 152-1, Haean-Lo, Gijang-Up, Gijang-Gun, Busan 619-705, South Korea

3 Department of Aquatic Life Medicine, Pukyong National University, 599-1 Daeyondong, Namgu, Busan 608-737, South Korea

4 Institute of Fisheries Sciences, Pukyong National University, 295, Dongbaek-ri, Ilgwang-myeon, Gijang-gun, Busan 619-911, South Korea

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Citation and License

BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:10  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-10

Published: 11 January 2013



Parasite peptidases have been actively studied as vaccine candidates or drug targets for prevention or treatment of parasitic diseases because of their important roles for survival and/or invasion in the host. Like other parasites, the facultative histophagous ciliate Miamiensis avidus would possess peptidases that are closely associated with the invasion into the host tissue and survival in the host.


The 17 genes encoding peptidases, including seven cathepsin-like cysteine peptidases, four serine carboxypeptidases, a eukaryotic aspartyl protease family protein, an ATP-dependent metalloprotease FtsH family protein, three leishmanolysin family proteins and a peptidase family M49 protein were identified from a Miamiensis avidus cDNA library by BLAST X search. Expression of genes encoding two cysteine peptidases, three leishmanolysin-like peptidases and a peptidase family M49 protein was up-regulated in the cell-fed ciliates compared to the starved ciliates. Especially, one cysteine peptidase (MaPro 4) and one leishmanolysin-like peptidase (MaPro 14) were transcribed more than 100-folds in the cell-fed ciliates.


The genetic information and transcriptional characteristics of the peptidases in the present results would be helpful to elucidate the role of peptidases in the invasion of scuticociliates into their hosts.

Scuticociliates; Miamiensis avidus; Peptidases; RT-PCR