Identification and expression pattern of a new digestive invertebrate-type lysozyme from the earthworm

  • Yun-Sang Yu
  • Ju-Young Lee
  • Ji-Won Woo
  • Jin-Se Kim
  • Yoon-Hwan Bae
  • Sung-Jin ChoEmail author
  • Soon Cheol ParkEmail author
Research Article



The invertebrate type (i-type) lysozyme not showing a clear homology with the known types of lysozyme was first demonstrated from a marine bivalve, conch and earthworm by N-terminal sequence. An i-type lysozyme isolated from the earthworm found to be up-regulated upon bacterial challenge, suggesting this lysozyme to function as an inducible immune factor. However, information on the i-type lysozyme related with digestive function is very limited in the earthworm.


The objective of this study is to investigate the molecular characteristics and function of the new i-type lysozyme from the earthworm.


To identify a new i-type lysozyme, multiple amino acid sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses were employed. Its mRNA expression pattern was observed by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).


A new i-type lysozyme (Ea-iLys) from an earthworm, Eisenia andrei with the open reading frame of 678 bp (226 amino acid residues) appeared to comprise conserved 14 cysteine residues for disulfide bridges and amino acid residues for the enzyme activities of lysozyme and isopeptidase, of which mRNA expression is mainly localized in the lining of midgut epithelium. No significant expression signal was detected in immune competent sites such as chloragogue tissue, typhlosole region, body coelom and muscle layers.


Our results suggest that this enzyme primarily acts as a digestive enzyme rather than an innate immune factor.


Earthworm Invertebrate-type lysozyme Expression pattern Digestion 



This research was supported by the Chung-Ang University Research Scholarship Grants in 2012–2013 and by “Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science and Technology Development [Project No.: PJ011661]” Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yun-Sang Yu
    • 1
  • Ju-Young Lee
    • 2
  • Ji-Won Woo
    • 3
  • Jin-Se Kim
    • 1
  • Yoon-Hwan Bae
    • 4
  • Sung-Jin Cho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Soon Cheol Park
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medical ConvergenceCatholic Kwandong UniversityGangneungRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Life SciencesChung-Ang UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Division of Life Sciences & ChemistryDaejin UniversityPocheonRepublic of Korea

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