Genome-wide identification and characterization of the AMPK genes and their distinct expression patterns in response to air exposure in the Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum)

  • Jingtian Wang
  • Lei Fang
  • Qidi Wu
  • Dongdong Li
  • Zhongming HuoEmail author
  • Xiwu YanEmail author
Research Article



AMP-activated protein kinases (AMPK) are heterotrimeric complexes. The main upstream phosphorylase has AMP-dependent LKB1 and Ca2+-dependent CaMKK beta. AMPK also includes an auto-inhibitory domain and a region associated with beta and gamma subunits, which regulate a variety of cellular activities and energy metabolism. The increase in the ratio of AMP/ATP can stimulate the activation of AMPK. Once AMPK is activated, pathways to ATP consumption (e.g., fat, cholesterol, and protein synthesis) will be shut down. The pathway to ATP generation (e.g., oxidation of fat and glycolysis pathway) will be activated. AMPK genes have not been systematically characterized in marine invertebrates.


In this study, we identified and characterized three AMPK genes, AMPK-α, AMPK-β, and AMPK-γ, in the Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum). To gain insight into the role of AMPK genes during clam energy metabolism, quantitative real-time PCR was used to investigate the expression profiles in the different stages of clam development, in healthy adult tissues, and after air exposure at two different temperatures.


Phylogenetic and protein structural analyses were conducted to determine the identity and evolutionary relationships of these genes. The structural features of the genes were relatively well-conserved, relative to the AMPK genes of other vertebrates. The expression of genes was significantly induced 3–48 h after air exposure.


AMPK-α, AMPK-β and AMPK-γ are involved in clam energy metabolism. Increased expression levels of AMPK genes in the gill and intestine of Manila clam in response to air exposure implied a strong adaptability to the coastal environment.


AMPK genes Air exposure Ruditapes philippinarum 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on this work. This research was supported by a Grant from Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology through the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD0901400), National Science Foundation of China (41606133), General Project of Liaoning Provincial Education Department (L201604), Dalian high level talent innovation support program (2017RQ062), Liao Ning Revitalization Talents Program (XLYC1807271), and funds earmarked for Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System (CARS-49).


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering Research Center of Shellfish Culture and Breeding in Liaoning Province, College of Fisheries and Life ScienceDalian Ocean UniversityDalian CityChina

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