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    AbstractVesicomyid clams, which inhabit deep-sea hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps, are nutritionally dependent on symbiotic, chemoautotrophic bacteria that produce organic matter by using hydrogen sulfide. Vesicomyid clams absorb hydrogen sulfide from the foot and transport it in their hemolymph to symbionts in the gill. However, mechanisms to cope with hydrogen sulfide toxicity are not fully understood. Previous studies on vent-specific invertebrates, including bathymodiolin mussels, suggest that hypotaurine, a precursor of taurine, mitigates hydrogen sulfide toxicity by binding it to bisulfide ion, so as to synthesize thiotaurine. In this study, we cloned cDNAs from the vesicomyid clam Phreagena okutanii for the taurine transporter that transports hypotaurine into cells and for cysteine dioxygenase and cysteine-sulfinate decarboxylase, major enzymes involved in hypotaurine synthesis. Results of reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction indicate that mRNAs of these three genes are most abundant in the foot, followed by the gill. However, hypotaurine and thiotaurine levels, measured by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, were low in the foot and high in the gill. In addition, thiotaurine was detected in hemolymph cells. Hypotaurine synthesized in the foot may be transported to the gill after binding to bisulfide ion, possibly by hemolymph cells.


    Megumi Kuroda, Toshihiro Nagasaki, Tomoko Koito, Yuki Hongo, Takao Yoshida, Tadashi Maruyama, Shinji Tsuchida, Suguru Nemoto, Koji Inoue. Possible Roles of Hypotaurine and Thiotaurine in the Vesicomyid Clam Phreagena okutanii. The Biological bulletin. 2021 Feb;240(1):34-40

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    PMID: 33730534

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