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Identification of chicken lysozyme g2 and its expression in the intestine

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher NileORCiD, Dr Claire Townes, Emeritus Professor Barry Hirst, Dr Judith HallORCiD


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Lysozyme is an important component of the innate immune system, protecting the gastrointestinal tract from infection. The aim of the present study was to determine if lysozyme is expressed in the chicken (Gallus gallus) intestine and to characterise the molecular forms expressed. Immunohistochemical staining localised lysozyme to epithelial cells of the villous epithelium along the length of the small intestine. There was no evidence for lysozyme expression in crypt epithelium and no evidence for Paneth cells. Immunoblots of chicken intestinal protein revealed three proteins: a 14-kDa band consistent with lysozyme c, and two additional bands of approximately 21 and 23 kDa, the latter consistent with lysozyme g. RT-PCR analyses confirmed that lysozyme c mRNA is expressed in 4-day, but not older chicken intestine and lysozyme g in 4- to 35-day chicken intestine. A novel chicken lysozyme g2 gene was identified by in silico analyses and mRNA for this lysozyme g2 was identified in the intestine from chickens of all ages. Chicken lysozyme g2 shows similarity with fish lysozyme g, including the absence of a signal peptide and cysteines involved in disulphide bond formation of the mammalian and bird lysozyme g proteins. Analyses using SecretomeP predict that chicken lysozyme g2 may be secreted by the non-classical secretory pathway. We conclude that lysozyme is expressed in the chicken small intestine by villous enterocytes. Lysozyme c, lysozyme g and g2 may fulfil complimentary roles in protecting the intestine.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nile CJ, Townes CL, Michailidis G, Hirst BH, Hall J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

Year: 2004

Volume: 61

Issue: 21

Pages: 2760-2766

ISSN (print): 1420-682X

ISSN (electronic): 1420-9071

Publisher: Birkhaeuser Verlag AG


DOI: 10.1007/s00018-004-4345-z

PubMed id: 15549179


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