Identification, diversity and domain structure analysis of mucin and mucin-like genes in sea anemone Actinia tenebrosa

PeerJ. 2022 May 5:10:e13292. doi: 10.7717/peerj.13292. eCollection 2022.


Background: Mucins are part of the glycoprotein family and the main proteinaceous component of mucus. The sea anemone species, Actinia tenebrosa (Phylum Cnidaria) produce large amounts of mucus, which have not been studied in detail. Furthermore, there has only been limited investigation of mucin genes in phylum Cnidaria. Therefore, the aim of current study was to identify and analyse the repertoire mucin genes present in A. tenebrosa and range of other sea anemone species to document their diversity in this group.

Methods: To achieve this aim, we undertook transcriptome sequencing, assembly, and annotation to identify mucin genes in A. tenebrosa.

Results: The results from this study demonstrated a diverse repertoire of mucin proteins, including mucin1-like, mucin4-like, and a range of mucin-like genes in the range of sea anemone species examined. The domain structure of the identified mucin genes was found to be consistent with the conserved domains found in the homologous proteins of vertebrate species. The discovery of a diverse range of mucin genes in sea anemone species provided a basic reference for future mucin studies in cnidarians and could lead to research into their application in the pharmacological, clinical, and cosmetic industries.

Keywords: Actinia tenebrosa; Assembly; Cnidaria; Gel-forming mucin; Mucin genes; Mucus; RNA-sequencing; Sea anemones; Transcriptomes; Transmembrane mucin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mucins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Sea Anemones* / genetics
  • Vertebrates


  • Mucins
  • Proteins

Grants and funding

The Saudi Ministry of Higher Education and the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in Australia supported this work with the monthly financial support and tuition paying. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.