Title

Potential role in development of the major cysteine protease in larvae of the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1995

Publication Title

Cell and Tissue Research

Volume

282

Issue

1

First Page

21

Last Page

31

DOI

10.1007/BF00319129

Abstract

Encysted embryos and larvae of the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana contain a cysteine protease which represents over 90% of the protease activity in these organisms. We have used immunocytochemical methods to determine the localization and potential role of the cysteine protease in development of young larvae. In prenauplius larvae, there is intense staining for the protease on the basal side of the epidermal layer in the posterior region and diffuse staining for the protease throughout the embryo. In first instar larvae, cysteine-protease staining becomes intense in the midgut-forming area where a reticulum-like pattern emerges in cells with an abundance of yolk platelets. Cysteine-protease staining in second instar larvae becomes intense in the apical side of epidermal cells and in the basal and apical zones of midgut cells. Subcellular localization of the protease in the epidermis and midgut of young larvae using immunogold electron microscopy suggests that most is located in the cytosol and extracellular matrix adiacent to these cells. Addition of cysteine-protease inhibitors to the growth medium, especially the fluoromethyl ketone Z-Phe-Ala-CH2F, inhibits growth and segmentation of the thorax. Collectively, these observations suggest that the major cysteine protease in embryos and larvae functions in yolk utilization, as a hatching enzyme, in apolysis during the molt cycle, and as a digestive enzyme when the swimming larvae begin to feed.

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