Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 711–721 | Cite as

Transcriptome, expression, and activity analyses reveal a vital heat shock protein 70 in the stress response of stony coral Pocillopora damicornis

  • Yidan Zhang
  • Zhi ZhouEmail author
  • Lingui Wang
  • Bo Huang
Original Paper


Coral bleaching occurs worldwide with increasing frequencies and intensities, which is caused by the stress response of stony coral to environmental change, especially increased sea surface temperature. In the present study, transcriptome, expression, and activity analyses were employed to illustrate the underlying molecular mechanisms of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) in the stress response of coral to environmental changes. The domain analyses of assembled transcripts revealed 30 HSP70 gene contigs in stony coral Pocillopora damicornis. One crucial HSP70 (PdHSP70) was observed, whose expressions were induced by both elevated temperature and ammonium after expression difference analysis. The complete complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence of PdHSP70 was identified, which encoded a polypeptide of 650 amino acids with a molecular weight of 71.93 kDa. The deduced amino acid sequence of PdHSP70 contained a HSP70 domain (from Pro8 to Gly616), and it shared the highest similarity (95%) with HSP70 from Stylophora pistillata. The expression level of PdHSP70 gene increased significantly at 12 h, and returned to the initial level at 24 h after the stress of high temperature (32 °C). The cDNA fragment encoding the mature peptide of PdHSP70 was recombined and expressed in the prokaryotic expression system. The ATPase activity of recombinant PdHSP70 protein was determined, and it did not change significantly in a wide range of temperature from 25 to 40 °C. These results collectively suggested that PdHSP70 was a vital heat shock protein 70 in the stony coral P. damicornis, whose mRNA expression could be induced by diverse environmental stress and whose activity could remain stable under heat stress. PdHSP70 might be involved in the regulation of the bleaching owing to heat stress in the stony coral P. damicornis.


Environmental stress Heat shock protein 70 ATPase activity Coral bleaching Stony coral 



The authors were grateful to all the laboratory members for the continuous technical advice and helpful discussion. We thanked Xiaopeng Yu for his help with the gene cloning. This research was supported by a grant (No. 31772460) from National Science Foundation of China, Natural Science Foundation (No. 20164158) of Hainan Province, and the Scientific Research Foundation (kyqd1554) of Hainan University.


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yidan Zhang
    • 1
  • Zhi Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lingui Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bo Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Tropical Biological Resources of Ministry of EducationHainan UniversityHaikouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in South China SeaHainan UniversityHaikouChina
  3. 3.Hainan Provincial Key Laboratory for Tropical Hydrobiology and Biotechnology, College of Marine ScienceHainan UniversityHaikouChina

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