Artemia cysts are the essential food product for industrial larviculture of fishes. The cyst shell protects theartemia embryo from mechanical damage, ultraviolet light, excessive water loss, thermal variation and anoxiacondition. However, the underlying mechanism of such environmental protection is largely unclear. Theembryonic cuticle of cyst shell mainly constitutes chitin and proteins. Absence of cyst shell proteins compromisesembryo survival. In literature, there are few examples of functional amyloids where proteins adaptamyloid-like structures and act as protective covering. We hypothesized that the proteins from the embryoniccuticle of artemia cyst shell may have amyloid-like properties. Using FTIR and CD analysis, we found thatproteins in embryonic cuticle have high beta-sheet secondary structures. Embryonic cuticles displayed highCongo red binding affinity and stained samples showed apple-green birefringence under polarized light,confirming the presence of amyloid-like structures. Amyloid structures have a tendency to propagate and causeamyloidosis. However, feeding of amyloid rich embryonic cuticles to zebrafish did not show any signs ofdiscomfort or morbidity and amyloid deposition. Taken together, the study reveals that amyloid-like structuresare present in embryonic cuticle of artemia cyst and their consumption does not induce amyloidosis inzebrafish.
Volume 46, 2021
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