Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 645–652 | Cite as

Dodecamer is Required for Agglutination of Litopenaeus vannamei Hemocyanin with Bacterial Cells and Red Blood Cells

  • Jian-yi Pan
  • Yue-ling Zhang
  • San-ying Wang
  • Xuan-xian PengEmail author
Original Article


Hemocyanins are multi-functional proteins, although they are well known to be respiratory proteins of invertebrate to date. In the present study, the agglutination ability of two oligomers of hemocyanin, hexamer and dodecamer, with pathogenic bacteria and red blood cells (RBCs) is investigated in pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Hexameric hemocyanin exhibits an extremely high stability even in the absence of Ca2+ and in alkaline pH. Dodecamer (di-hexamer) is easily dissociated into hexamers in unphysiological conditions. Hexamer and dodecamer are interchanged reciprocally with environmental conditions. Both oligomers can bind to bacteria and RBCs, but agglutination is observed only using dodecamer but not using hexamer in agglutination assay. However, the agglutination is detected when hexamer is utilized in the presence of antiserum against hemocyanin. These results indicate that dodecamer of hemocyanin is required for agglutination with bacteria and RBCs. It can be logically inferred that there is only one carbohydrate-binding site to bacterial cells and RBCs in the hexamer, while at least two sites in the dodecamer. Our finding has provided new insights into structural–functional relationship of hemocyanin.


Hemocyanin Agglutination Hexamer Dodecamer Litopenaeus vannamei 



This work was sponsored by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China (2006CB101807), Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (7117645), Science and Technology Program of Guangdong (2007B020701006) and Shantou City (no. 2006-148).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian-yi Pan
    • 1
  • Yue-ling Zhang
    • 3
  • San-ying Wang
    • 1
  • Xuan-xian Peng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Proteomics, Department of Biology, School of Life SciencesXiamen UniversityXiamenPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Life SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Biology, School of SciencesShantou UniversityShantouPeople’s Republic of China

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