Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology

Trypsin and N-aminopeptidase (APN) activities in the hepatopancreas of an intertidal euryhaline crab: Biochemical characteristics and differential modulation by histamine and salinity.

PMID 27923710


No studies are available about biochemical characteristics and modulation (i.e. by endogenous and/or environmental cues) of trypsin (a key digestive endoprotease) in hepatopancreas of intertidal euryhaline crabs neither on the possible concomitant modulation of key ectoproteases such as aminopeptidase-N (APN) involved in final steps of protein digestion. Furthermore, nothing is still known in decapods crustaceans about the role of histamine as primary chemical messenger for modulation of main components of digestive process (i.e. proteases). We determined biochemical characteristics and investigated the effect of histamine injections; of histamine in vitro and of acclimation of individuals to low and high salinity on trypsin and aminopeptidase-N (APN) activities in the hepatopancreas of the euryhaline crab Cyrtograpsus angulatus (Dana 1851). Trypsin activity was maximal at pH7.4 and at 45°C. APN activity increased from pH6.6 to 7.6-9.0 and was maintained high at 37-45°C. Both activities exhibited Michaelis-Menten kinetics (apparent Km: trypsin=0.36mM; APN=0.07mM). The injection of 10(-4)M histamine decreased trypsin activity (about 40%) in hepatopancreas while did not affect APN activity. Similarly, in vitro 10(-4)M histamine decreased trypsin activity (about 52%) in hepatopancreas but not APN activity. Trypsin activity in the hepatopancreas was not affected by acclimation of crabs to low (10psu) or high (40psu) environmental salinity while APN activity was increased (about 200%) in 10psu. The results show the differential modulation of trypsin and APN by distinct cues and point to histamine as modulator of intracellular trypsin by direct action on the hepatopancreas.

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Nα-Benzoyl-DL-arginine 4-nitroanilide hydrochloride, ≥98%
C19H22N6O4 · HCl