Saelee N, Noonin C, Nupan B, Junkunlo K, Phongdara A, Lin X, Söderhäll K, Söderhäll I
PLoS ONE 8 (4) e60974 [2013-04-02; online 2013-04-02]
Thymosin proteins are well known for their actin-binding activity. Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4) has been associated with biological activities in tissue repair and cell migration via interaction with ATP-synthase in vertebrates, while the information of similar thymosin functions in invertebrates is limited. We have shown previously that ATP-synthase is present on the surface of crayfish hematopoietic tissue (HPT) cells, and that astakine 1 (Ast1, an invertebrate cytokine) was found to interact with this β-subunit of ATP synthase. Here, we identified five different β-thymosins from Pacifastacus leniusculus, designated Pl-β-thymosin1-5. The two dominant isoforms in brain, HPT and hemocytes, Pl-β-thymosin1 and 2, were chosen for functional studies. Both isoforms could bind to the β-subunit of ATP-synthase, and Pl-β-thymosin1, but not Pl-β-thymosin2, significantly increased extracellular ATP formation. Moreover, Pl-β-thymosin1 stimulated HPT cell migration in vitro and Ast1 blocked this effect. Pl-β-thymosin2 increased the circulating hemocyte number at an early stage after injection. Additionally, in vivo injection of Pl-β-thymosin1 resulted in significant reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in crayfish HPT whereas Pl-β-thymosin2 had a similar but transient effect. Both Pl-β-thymosins induced the expression of Ast1 and superoxide dismutase (SOD) transcripts, while silencing of endogenous Pl-β-thymosin 1 and 2 by RNAi resulted in significant reduction of the Ast1 and SOD transcripts. The diverse effects exhibited by Pl-β-thymosin1 and Pl-β-thymosin2 indicates that these proteins are involved in a complex interaction that regulates the hematopoietic stem cell proliferation and differentiation.