Marine Biology

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 423–430 | Cite as

An unusual blue mesogleal protein from the mangrove jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana

  • R. S. Blanquet
  • M. A. Phelan


The jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana often contains a blue pigment diffused within the acellular portion of its masoglea. In the bell, both the pigment and endosymbiotic zooxanthellae are concentrated immediately beneath the ex-and subumbrellar epithelia. Chromatographic and polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic techniques demonstrate that the pigment is a highly polymeric glycoprotein (mol. wt>106 daltons) comprised of two subunits with molecular weights of 34 500 and 30 300 daltons and characterized by multiple charged species. The blue native protein exhibits light absorption maxima at 620, 587, 555 and 415 nm, while SDS denatured protein is pink with a single absorption maximum at 507 nm. No prosthetic chromophore or heavy metal component was detected. The pigment is proposed to act as a light attenuator protecting the jellyfish from injurious solar irradiation while allowing photosynthetically active wavelengths to reach the zooxanthellae.


Heavy Metal Polyacrylamide Solar Irradiation Absorption Maximum Light Absorption 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Berger, H., H. Ronneberg, G. Borch and S. Liaaen-Jensen: Animal carotenoids-28*. Further studies on the carotenoprotein alloporin ex. Allopora californica. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 71B, 253–258 (1982)Google Scholar
  2. Blanquet, R. S.: Zooxanthellae contribution to respiration in the mangrove jellyfish Cassiopea. Nat. Geog. Reports 20, 17–26 (1979)Google Scholar
  3. Blanquet, R. S., Nevenzel and A. A. Benson: Acetate incorporation into the lipids of the anemone Anthopleura elegantissima and its associated zooxanthellae. Mar. Biol. 54, 185–194 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blanquet, R. S. and G.P. Riordan: An ultrastructural study of the subumbrellar musculature and desmosomal complexes of Cassiopea xamachana (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa). Trans. Am. microsc. Soc. 100, 109–119 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bownds, D.: Site of attachment of retinal in rhodopsin. Nature, Lond. 216, 1178–1181 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bownds, D. and G. Wald: Reaction of the rhodopsin chromophore with sodium borohydride. Nature, Lond. 205, 254–257 (1965)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boykins, R. A. and T. Y. Liu: Automatic analysis of neutral sugar components in glycoproteins and complex carbohydrates. J. biochem. biophys. Methods 2, 71–78 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cheesman, D. F., W. L. Lee and P. F. Zagalsky: Carotenoproteins in invertebrates. Biol. Rev. 42, 132–160 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crescitelli, F.: The visual pigments of geckos and other vertebrates: an essay in comparative biology. In: Handbook of sensory physiology, Vol. VII/5, Ch. 7, pp 394–449. Berlin: Springer 1977Google Scholar
  10. Dykens, J. A.: Enzymic defenses against oxygen toxicity in marine cnidarians containing endosymbiotic algae. Mar. Biol. Lett. 5,291–301 (1984)Google Scholar
  11. Dykens, J. A. and J. M. Shick: Photobiology of the symbiotic sea anemone, Anthopleura elegantissima: defenses against photodynamic effects, and seasonal photoacclimatization. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 167, 683–697 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fox, D. L. and T. Haxo: Pigments and algal commensalism in the blue oceanic siphonophore Velella lata, pp 280–282. Proc. XVth Int. Cong. Zool. London 1958Google Scholar
  13. Goldstein, D. B.: A method for assay of catalase with the oxygen electrode. Anal. Biochem. 24, 431–437 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Herring, P. J.: Blue pigment of a surface-living oceanic copepod. Nature, Lond. 205, 103–104 (1965)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Herring, P. J.: Stability of the blue pigment of Velella and Porpita (Coelenterata: Siphonophora). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 39B, 1039–1043 (1971)Google Scholar
  16. Herring, P. J.: Porphyrin pigmentation in deep-sea medusae. Nature, Lond. 238, 276 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jeffrey, S. W. and F. T. Haxo: Photosynthetic pigments of symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae) from corals and clams. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 135, 149–165 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jokiel, P. L. and R. H. York, Jr.: Solar ultraviolet photobiology of the reef coral Pocillopora damicornis and symbiotic zooxanthellae. Bull. mar. Sci. 32, 301–315 (1982)Google Scholar
  19. Knowles, A.: The effects of chloride ion upon chicken visual pigments. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 73, 56–62 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Laemmli, U. K.: Cleavage of structural proteins durign assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature, Lond. 227, 680–685 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Leavitt, J. C., M. A. Phelan, A. H. Leavett, R. E. Mayner and F. A. Ennis: Human influenza A virus: comparative analysis of the structural polypeptides by two dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Virology 99, 340–348 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. LeBoeuf, R. D., S. A. McCommas and N. R. Howe: Coloration in sea anemones — II. Comparative studies on the column carotenoid polymorphism for two species of Bunodosoma (Anthozoa: Actinaria). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 68B, 221–224 (1981a)Google Scholar
  23. LeBoeuf, R. D., S. A. McCommas, N. R. Howe and J. D. Tauber: The role of carotenoids in the color polymorphism of the sea anemone, Bunodosoma granulifera (Anthozoa: Actinaria). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 68B, 25–29 (1981b)Google Scholar
  24. Mathews-Roth, M. M.: Carotenoid pigments and protection agaist photosensitization: how studies in bacteria suggested a treatment for a human disease. Persp. Biol. Med. 28, 127–139 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Muchmore, A. V. and J. M. Decker: Uromodulin: A unique 85-kilodalton immunosuppressive glycoprotein isolated from urine of pregnant women. Science, Wash. D.C. 229, 479–481 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. O'Farrell, P. Z., H. M. Goodman and P. H. O'Farrell: High resolution two-dimensional electrophoresis of basic as well as acidic proteins. Cell 12, 1133–1141 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Phelan, M., R. Boykins and I. Gray: Modification of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, EC, isolated from rainbow trout during acclimation at 5 or 15°C.-II. Biochemical characterization of G3PDH muscle isolates. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 79B, 139–146 (1984)Google Scholar
  28. Phelan, M., J. W. Hall, M. Wells, M. Kowalski, L. Vujcic, G. Quinnan, Jr. and J. Epstein: In: Modern approaches in protein chemistry. Ed. J. J. L'Italien. New York: Plenum Press (In press)Google Scholar
  29. Phelan, M. A., R. E. Mayner, D. J. Bucher and F. A. Ennis: Purification of influenza virus glycoproteins for the preparation and standardization of immunological potency testing reagents. J. biol. Stand. 8, 233–242 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pollitt, S. and H. Zalkin: Role of primary structure and disulfide bond formation in β-lactamase secretion. J. Bact. 153, 27–32 (1983)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Ronneberg, H., D. L. Cox and S. Liaaen-Jensen: Animal carotenoids — carotenoproteins from hydrocorals. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 64B, 407–408 (1979)Google Scholar
  32. Schlichter, D., W. Weber and H. W. Fricke: A chromatophore system in the hermatypic, deep-water coral Leptoseris fragilis (Anthozoa: Hexacorallia). Mar. Biol. 89, 143–147 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shibata, K.: Pigments and a UV-absorbing substance in corals and blue-green alga living in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Plant Cell Physiol. 10, 325–335 (1969)Google Scholar
  34. Shick, J. M. and J. A. Dykens: Photobiology of the symbiotic sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima: photosynthesis, respiration, and behavior under intertidal conditions. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 166, 608–619 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Simpson, R. J., M. R. Neuberger and T. Y. Liu: Complete amino acid analysis of proteins from a single hydroxylate. J. biol. Chem. 251, 1936–1940 (1976)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Spackman, D. H., W. H. Stein and S. Moore: Automatic recording apparatus in the use of chromatography of amino acids. Analyt. Chem. 30, 1190–1206 (1958)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tyler, D. D.: Polarographic assay and intracellular distribution of superoxide dismutase in rat liver. Biochem. J. 147, 493–504 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. West, H.: Pigmentation in the sea anemone Corynactis californica. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 64B, 195–200 (1979)Google Scholar
  39. Zagalsky, P. F.: Crystallisation of astaxanthin-proteins of Velella velella (Coelenterata: Chondrophora). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 71B, 235–236 (1982)Google Scholar
  40. Zagalsky, P. F. and P. J. Herring: Studies on the blue astaxanthin-proteins of Velella velella (Coelenterata: Chondrophora). Philos. Trans. R. Soc., Ser. B 279, 289–326 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Blanquet
    • 1
  • M. A. Phelan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyGeorgetown UniversityWashington, D.C.USA
  2. 2.Division of VirologyCenter for Drugs and Biologics, Food and Drug AdministrationBethesdaUSA

Personalised recommendations