The regulatory role of the NO/cGMP signal transduction cascade during larval attachment and metamorphosis of the barnacle Balanus (=Amphibalanus) amphitrite

Y. Zhang, L.-S. He, G. Zhang, Y. Xu, O.-O. Lee, K. Matsumura, P.-Y. Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is among the most dominant fouling species on intertidal rocky shores in tropical and subtropical areas and is thus a target organism in antifouling research. After being released from adults, the swimming nauplius undertakes six molting cycles and then transforms into a cyprid. Using paired antennules, a competent cyprid actively explores and selects a suitable substratum for attachment and metamorphosis (collectively known as settlement). This selection process involves the reception of exogenous signals and subsequent endogenous signal transduction. To investigate the involvement of nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) during larval settlement of B. amphitrite, we examined the effects of an NO donor and an NO scavenger, two nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors and a soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) inhibitor on settling cyprids. We found that the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) inhibited larval settlement in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, both the NO scavenger carboxy-PTIO and the NOS inhibitors aminoguanidine hemisulfate (AGH) and S-methylisothiourea sulfate (SMIS) significantly accelerated larval settlement. Suppression of the downstream guanylyl cyclase (GC) activity using a GC-selective inhibitor ODQ could also significantly accelerate larval settlement. Interestingly, the settlement inhibition effects of SNP could be attenuated by ODQ at all concentrations tested. In the developmental expression profiling of NOS and sGC, the lowest expression of both genes was detected in the cyprid stage, a crucial stage for the larval decision to attach and metamorphose. In summary, we concluded that NO regulates larval settlement via mediating downstream cGMP signaling.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3813-3822
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): SA-C0040, UK-C0016
Acknowledgements: This study was supported by an award from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology [SA-C0040/UK-C0016] and grants from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [N_HKUST602/09 and AoE/P-04/04-II] to P.Y.Q.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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