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Hydra actinoporin-like toxin 1 (HALT-1) was previously shown to cause cytolysis and haemolysis in a number of human cells and has similar functional properties to the actinoporins equinatoxin and sticholysin. In addition to HALT-1, five other HALTs (HALTs 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7) were also isolated from Hydra magnipapillata and expressed as recombinant proteins in this study. We demonstrated that recombinant HALTs have cytolytic activity on HeLa cells but each exhibited a different range of toxicity. All six recombinant HALTs bound to sulfatide, while rHALT-1 and rHALT-3 bound to two additional sphingolipids, lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine-1-phosphate as indicated by the protein-lipid overlay assay. When either tryptophan or tyrosine of HALT-1 was mutated, the mutant protein lost binding to sulfatide, lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine-1-phosphate. As further verification of HALTs' binding to sulfatide, we performed ELISA for each HALT. To determine the cell-type specific gene expression of seven HALTs in Hydra, we searched for individual HALT expression in the single-cell RNA-seq data set of Single Cell Portal. The results showed that HALT-1, 4 and 7 were expressed in differentiating stenoteles. HALT-1 and HALT-6 were expressed in the female germline during oogenesis. HALT-2 was strongly expressed in the gland and mucous cells in the endoderm. Information on HALT-3 and HALT-5 could not be found in the single-cell data set. Our findings show that subfunctionalisation of gene expression following duplication enabled HALTs to become specialized in various cell types of the interstitial cell lineage.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology
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