Characterization and function of a tachylectin 5-like immune molecule inPenaeus monodon

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Tachylectin5A and its homolog, tachylectin5B both contain a fibrinogen-related domain (FReD) and have been studied in horseshoe crabs, Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda and shown to be involved in host defense. Here, we demonstrate the presence of tachylectin5-like genes in shrimp, Penaeus monodon, designated as Penlectin5-1 (PL5-1) and Penlectin5-2 (PL5-2), which both contain a signal peptide and a single FReD with an acetyl group and a calcium binding sites and they are both structurally similar to horseshoe crab tachylectin/carcinolectin5. The PL5-1and PL5-2 transcript were expressed in various shrimp tissues in normal shrimp, and their expression was upregulated in tissues such as hemocytes and hindgut following challenge with pathogenic Vibrio harveyi. The PL5-2 protein was detected in various tissues as well as in cell-free hemolymph. The biological function of the PL5-2 protein is to recognize some Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria regardless whether they are non-pathogenic or pathogenic. They have hemagglutination activity on human erythrocyte and bacterial agglutination activity to both Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria. Possible binding sites of PL5-2 to bacteria could be at the N-acetyl moiety of the GlcNAc-MurNAc cell wall of the peptidoglycan since the binding could be inhibited by GlcNAc or GalNAC. The presence of PL5-2 protein in both circulating hemolymph and intestine, where host and microbes are usually interacting, may suggest that the physiological function of shrimp tachylectin-like proteins is to recognize and bind to invading bacteria to immobilize and entrap these microbes and subsequently clear them from circulation and the host body, and probably to control and maintain the normal flora in the intestine.

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