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Mechanisms of protein degradation in mantle muscle and proposed gill remodeling in starved Sepia officinalis

TitleMechanisms of protein degradation in mantle muscle and proposed gill remodeling in starved Sepia officinalis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLamarre, SG, Ditlecadet, D, McKenzie, DJ, Bonnaud-Ponticelli, L, Driedzic, WR
JournalAm J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol

Cephalopods have relatively high rates of protein synthesis compared to rates of protein degradation, along with minimal carbohydrate and lipid reserves. During food deprivation on board protein is catabolized as a metabolic fuel. The aim of the current study was to assess whether biochemical indices of protein synthesis and proteolytic mechanisms were altered in cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, starved for 7 days. In mantle muscle, food deprivation is associated with a decrease in protein synthesis, as indicated by a decrease in the total RNA level and dephosphorylation of key signaling molecules, such as the eukaryote binding protein, 4E-BP1 (regulator of translation) and Akt. The ubiquitination-proteasome system (UPS) is activated as shown by an increase in the levels of proteasome $\beta$-subunit mRNA, polyubiquitinated protein, and polyubiquitin mRNA. As well, cathepsin activity levels are increased, suggesting increased proteolysis through the lysosomal pathway. Together, these mechanisms could supply amino acids as metabolic fuels. In gill, the situation is quite different. It appears that during the first stages of starvation, both protein synthesis and protein degradation are enhanced in gill. This is based upon increased phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and enhanced levels of UPS indicators, especially 20S proteasome activity and polyubiquitin mRNA. It is proposed that an increased protein turnover is related to gill remodeling perhaps to retain essential hemolymph-borne compounds.