This study aimed to sequence and characterize two pro-coagulant genes, coagulation factor II (f2) and fibrinogen gamma chain (fgg), from the liver of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens, and to determine their hepatic mRNA expression levels during three phases of aestivation. The protein abundances of F2 and Fgg in the liver and plasma were determined by immunoblotting. Results indicated that F2 and Fgg of P. annectens were phylogenetically closer to those of amphibians than those of teleosts. Three days of aestivation resulted in an up-regulation in the hepatic fgg mRNA expression level, while 6 days of aestivation led to a significant increase (3-fold) in the protein abundance of Fgg in the plasma. Hence, there could be an increase in the blood clotting ability in P. annectens during the induction phase of aestivation. By contrast, the blood clotting ability in P. annectens might be reduced in response to decreased blood flow and increased possibility of thrombosis during the maintenance phase of aestivation, as 6 months of aestivation led to significant decreases in mRNA expression levels of f2 and fgg in the liver. There could also be a decrease in the export of F2 and Fgg from the liver to the plasma so as to avert thrombosis. Upon 3-6 days of arousal from 6 months of aestivation, the protein abundances of F2 and Fgg recovered partially in the plasma of P. annectens, and a complete recovery of the transcription and translation of f2/F2 in the liver might occur only after refeeding.
↵§ Equal contributions to this study
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