College of Fishery, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang, 524025, China; Shenzhen Institute of Guangdong Ocean University, Shenzhen, 518120, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Biology and Epidemiology for Aquatic Economic Animals, Zhanjiang, 524025, China; Guangdong Provincial Engineering Research Center for Aquatic Animal Health Assessment, Shenzhen, 51820, China. Electronic address: [Email]
CD48 is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein involved in lymphocyte adhesion, activation, and costimulation. In this study, the CD48 gene of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, named On-CD48), was cloned from the head kidney of tilapia. The coding sequences is 654 bp and encoding 217 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of On-CD48 with an estimated molecular weight of 24.4 kDa and a theoretical pI of 5.03. Amino acid alignment indicated that it had two immunoglobulin-like domain conserved region. In healthy tilapia, the On-CD48 could be detected in all the examined tissues and the highest expression level in the spleen. The expression of On-CD48 in the spleen and head kidney was decreased after immunized by formalin-inactivated Streptococcus agalactiae, and the peak was observed in the spleen at 24 h and appeared again at 96 h, and in the head kidney gradual decline before 48 h then gradually increased to the original level. qPCR analysis of inactivated S. agalactiae, LPS and Poly I:C stimulated at the whole lymphocyte level showed that the stimulation of the Poly I:C was more sensitive. Prokaryotic expression results showed that efficient expression of On-CD48 protein could be realized after induced with 0.5 mmol L-1 IPTG in E. coli BL21 (DE3) for 10 h at 18 °C. The result of subcellular localization showed that On-CD48 were evenly distributed in the whole cell of HEK-293T. Western Blot confirmed that the molecular weight of the recombinant On-CD48 was about 21 kDa, consistent with the predicted result. The results of this study will lay a strong foundation for the further study of On-CD48 molecular function in tilapia.