Abundant mRNAs in the squid light organ encode proteins with a high similarity to mammalian peroxidases.
A library derived from mRNA in the bacterial light organ of the squid, Euprymna scolopes, contained an unexpectedly high proportion of cDNAs that encode proteins with approximately 30% similarity to a family of mammalian peroxidases (PO) including myelo-PO, eosinophil PO, and thyroid PO (donor:hydrogen-peroxide oxidoreductase; EC 22.214.171.124). Two nearly full-length cDNAs were determined to encode putative PO of nearly 93 kDa each that are 97% identical in amino acid sequence to each other. Each contains four potential glycosylation sites, and His416, believed to be within the active site of the human PO, is conserved in the putative PO from the squid light organ. The mRNAs for the putative squid PO were approximately 250 times more abundant in the tissue housing the bacterial symbiont than in the ocular lens or mantle and were undetectable in the light organ lens. By analogy with the bacteriocidal function of PO in mammalian neutrophils, the putative squid PO may be important for modulating or limiting the population of bacteria within the light organ. The possibility that the squid light organ contains a high concentration of PO raises the possibility that the light organ lens is under oxidative stress, providing a possible rationale for the recruitment of its aldehyde dehydrogenase-like crystallin.