Changes in reflectin protein phosphorylation are associated with dynamic iridescence in squid

Thumbnail Image
Izumi, Michi
Sweeney, Alison M.
DeMartini, Daniel
Weaver, James C.
Powers, Meghan L.
Tao, Andrea
Silvas, Tania V.
Kramer, Ryan M.
Crookes-Goodson, Wendy J.
Mathger, Lydia M.
Naik, Rajesh R.
Hanlon, Roger T.
Morse, Daniel E.
Alternative Title
Date Created
Related Materials
Replaced By
Many cephalopods exhibit remarkable dermal iridescence, a component of their complex, dynamic camouflage and communication. In the species Euprymna scolopes, the light-organ iridescence is static and is due to reflectin protein-based platelets assembled into lamellar thin-film reflectors called iridosomes, contained within iridescent cells called iridocytes. Squid in the family Loliginidae appear to be unique in that the dermis possesses a dynamic iridescent component, with reflective, colored structures that are assembled and disassembled under the control of the muscarinic cholinergic system and the associated neurotransmitter acetylcholine (Mathger et al. 2004). Here we present the sequences and characterization of three new members of the reflectin family associated with the dynamically changeable iridescence in Loligo and not found in static Euprymna iridophores. In addition, we show that application of genistein, a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor, suppresses acetylcholine- and calcium-induced iridescence in Loligo. We further demonstrate that two of these novel reflectins are extensively phosphorylated in concert with the activation of iridescence by exogenous acetylcholine. This phosphorylation and the correlated iridescence can be blocked with genistein. Our results suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation of reflectin proteins is involved in the regulation of dynamic iridescence in Loligo.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of The Royal Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of The Royal Society Interface 6 (2010): 549-560, doi:10.1098/rsif.2009.0299.
Embargo Date
Cruise ID
Cruise DOI
Vessel Name