GROUP 1 LATE EMBRYOGENESIS ABUNDANT (LEA) PROTEINS CONTRIBUTE TO STRESS TOLERANCE IN ARTEMIA FRANCISCANA
MetadataShow full item record
The encysted embryos (cysts) of the crustacean Artemia franciscana have several molecular mechanisms to enable anhydrobiosis – life without water. This study examines the function of group 1 Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins, hydrophilic unstructured proteins which accumulate in the stress-tolerant cysts of A. franciscana. Group 1 LEA proteins were knocked down in cysts using RNA interference. Cysts without group 1 LEA proteins exhibited low survival following desiccation and/or freezing, suggesting a role for these proteins in tolerance of low water conditions. In contrast, cysts with or without group 1 LEA proteins responded similarly to hydrogen peroxide exposure , indicating little to no function in reducing damage due to oxidative stress. This is the first in vivo functional study of group 1 LEA proteins in an animal, and may have applied significance in aquaculture, where Artemia is an important feed source, and in the cryopreservation of cells for therapeutic applications.