Transcriptome of the Australian mollusc Dicathais orbita provides insights into the biosynthesis of indoles and choline esters
Baten, A, Ngangbam, AK, Waters, DLE & Benkendorff, K 2016, 'Transcriptome of the Australian mollusc Dicathais orbita provides insights into the biosynthesis of indoles and choline esters', Marine Drugs, vol. 14, no. 7.
Dicathais orbita is a mollusc of the Muricidae family and is well known for the production of the expensive dye Tyrian purple and its brominated precursors that have anticancer properties, in addition to choline esters with muscle-relaxing properties. However, the biosynthetic pathways that produce these secondary metabolites in D. orbita are not known. Illumina HiSeq 2000 transcriptome sequencing of hypobranchial glands, prostate glands, albumen glands, capsule glands, and mantle and foot tissues of D. orbita generated over 201 million high quality reads that were de novo assembled into 219,437 contigs. Annotation with reference to the Nr, Swiss-Prot and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases identified candidate-coding regions in 76,152 of these contigs, with transcripts for many enzymes in various metabolic pathways associated with secondary metabolite biosynthesis represented. This study revealed that D. orbita expresses a number of genes associated with indole, sulfur and histidine metabolism pathways that are relevant to Tyrian purple precursor biosynthesis, and many of which were not found in the fully annotated genomes of three other molluscs in the KEGG database. However, there were no matches to known bromoperoxidase enzymes within the D. orbita transcripts. These transcriptome data provide a significant molecular resource for gastropod research in general and Tyrian purple producing Muricidae in particular.