Anoxia-induced transcriptional upregulation of sarp-19: cloning and characterization of a novel EF-hand containing gene expressed in hepatopancreas of Littorina littorea

Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Apr;82(2):285-93. doi: 10.1139/o04-001.


Many marine molluscs have well-developed biochemical adaptations that allow them to live without oxygen for long periods of time, but very little is currently known about the molecular biology underlying these processes. Differential screening of a cDNA library derived from the hepatopancreas of the marine snail Littorina littorea revealed a novel anoxia-induced gene, sarp-19 (snail anoxia-responsive protein, 19 kDa). Examination of the sarp-19 transcript revealed an open reading frame that encoded a protein of 168 amino acids containing an N-terminal signal sequence and two putative EF-hand domains. Expression analysis of transcript levels established that sarp-19 accumulated over a time course of anoxia exposure, reaching a maximum 5.6-fold increase after 96 h compared with aerobic controls. However, transcript levels were reduced by 50% within 1 h when aerobic conditions were reestablished. Nuclear runoff assays confirmed transcriptional upregulation of sarp-19 during anoxia exposure, and organ explant experiments showed that the gene was also responsive to anoxia exposure in vitro. sarp-19 transcripts were also elevated in response to freezing, suggesting that the protein may have a role in the physiological responses of this intertidal snail to both aerial exposure and winter freezing. Hepatopancreas explants treated with a calcium ionophore showed increased levels of the sarp-19 transcript, suggesting a possible feedback mechanism regulated by levels of intracellular calcium. Expression was also responsive to tissue incubation with cyclic GMP and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate but was not affected by cyclic AMP, implicating involvement of protein kinases G and C but not protein kinase A in the expression of sarp-19. The SARP-19 protein may play a role in calcium-activated signaling during anoxia exposure in L. littorea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anaerobiosis / genetics
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • EF Hand Motifs / genetics
  • Hepatopancreas / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Second Messenger Systems
  • Snails / genetics*
  • Snails / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Up-Regulation


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF369698