Mucus Glycoproteins Selectively Secreted from Bacteriocytes in Gill Filaments of the Deep-Sea Clam Calyptogena okutanii


The deep-sea clam Calyptogena okutanii possesses a large gill containing vertically transmitted symbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. It produces large amounts of highly viscoelastic mucus from the gill, which is thought to be a physical and chemical barrier. The mucus collected from the gill was shown to be composed of glycoproteins having the following sugar composition: Man (17.4%), GlcNAc (16.6%), GalNAc (15%), Glc (1.1%), Gal (29.9%), Xyl (3.0%), Fuc (14.4%), and unknown (2.6%), indicating that it contained mucin-like glycoproteins. In a monoclonal antibody library against the gill tissue, we found a monoclonal antibody (mAb), CokG-B3C10, reacting to the mucus. Western blot analysis using the mAb showed that it reacted to several glycoproteins in the mucus from the gill tissue, but not with those of other tissues such as the mantle, foot, and ovary, where mucus production has been reported in bivalves. Further, immunohistochemical analysis showed the CokG-B3C10 mAb reacting to glycoproteins was detected in the inner area of the gill, which was occupied by many bacteriocytes in the row of gill filaments. Strong mAb signals were found on the outer surface of the bacteriocytes facing the interfilamental space, and in the interfilamental spaces between filaments. Weaker signals were also observed in the bacteriocyte cells. These results indicate that the CokG-B3C10 mAbbinding mucus glycoproteins were produced from cells including bacteriocytes and nonbacteriocyte cells in the inner area of the gill filaments.

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Y. Nakamura, M. Konishi, K. Ohishi, C. Kusaka, A. Tame, Y. Hatada, K. Fujikura, M. Nakazawa, M. Fujishima, T. Yoshida and T. Maruyama, "Mucus Glycoproteins Selectively Secreted from Bacteriocytes in Gill Filaments of the Deep-Sea Clam Calyptogena okutanii," Open Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 167-174. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2013.34019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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