Neuropeptidergic Signaling in the American Lobster Homarus americanus: New Insights from High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
Peptides are the largest and most diverse class of molecules used for neurochemical communication, playing key roles in the control of essentially all aspects of physiology and behavior. The American lobster, Homarus americanus, is a crustacean of commercial and biomedical importance; lobster growth and reproduction are under neuropeptidergic control, and portions of the lobster nervous system serve as models for understanding the general principles underlying rhythmic motor behavior (including peptidergic neuromodulation). While a number of neuropeptides have been identified from H. americanus, and the effects of some have been investigated at the cellular/systems levels, little is currently known about the molecular components of neuropeptidergic signaling in the lobster. Here, a H. americanus neural transcriptome was generated and mined for sequences encoding putative peptide precursors and receptors; 35 precursor- and 41 receptor-encoding transcripts were identified. We predicted 194 distinct neuropeptides from the deduced precursor proteins, including members of the adipokinetic hormone-corazonin-like peptide, allatostatin A, allatostatin C, bursicon, CCHamide, corazonin, crustacean cardioactive peptide, crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH), CHH precursor-related peptide, diuretic hormone 31, diuretic hormone 44, eclosion hormone, FLRFamide, GSEFLamide, insulin-like peptide, intocin, leucokinin, myosuppressin, neuroparsin, neuropeptide F, orcokinin, pigment dispersing hormone, proctolin, pyrokinin, SIFamide, sulfakinin and tachykinin-related peptide families. While some of the predicted peptides are known H. americanus isoforms, most are novel identifications, more than doubling the extant lobster neuropeptidome. The deduced receptor proteins are the first descriptions of H. americanus neuropeptide receptors, and include ones for most of the peptide groups mentioned earlier, as well as those for ecdysis-triggering hormone, red pigment concentrating hormone and short neuropeptide F. Multiple receptors were identified for most peptide families. These data represent the most complete description of the molecular underpinnings of peptidergic signaling in H. americanus, and will serve as a foundation for future gene-based studies of neuropeptidergic control in the lobster.