Chemokines represent a superfamily of chemotactic cytokines playing an important role in leucocyte chemotaxis. Here we report a novel turbot CXC chemokine screened from a turbot spleen cDNA library. The complete cDNA of the turbot CXC chemokine contains an 81 bp 5′ UTR, a 414 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding 137 amino acids and a 449 bp 3′ UTR. Four exons and three introns are identified in the turbot CXC chemokine gene. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the turbot CXC chemokine clustered apart from all other CXC chemokines. RT-PCR demonstrated that turbot CXC chemokine was expressed highly in spleen and head kidney. During the early stages of embryo development after fertilization, it appears that low expression level of turbot CXC chemokine was firstly observed at somites stage. Interestingly, the turbot chemokine was highly and rapidly (5 h) induced in liver, spleen and head kidney of turbot after challenge with Vibrio anguillarum. Furthermore, the expression of CXC chemokine was also dramatically increased after challenge in turbot embryonic cells (TECs). These results indicated that the turbot CXC chemokine played an important role in turbot immune response.
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