Identification and characterization of a calcium-dependent lily-type lectin from black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii): Molecular antennas are involved in host defense via pathogen recognition

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Abstract

Lily-type lectins (LTLs) are soluble pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) that contain one or more characteristic carbohydrate recognition domains (CRDs), through which LTLs bind reversibly and specifically to cognate sugar moieties present on the invading pathogen membrane and trigger the host innate immune responses. In this study, we identified a LTL homolog (SsLTL) from black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii) transcriptome database and its functional roles in innate immunity was investigated in vitro and in vivo. Three mannose-binding sites were found in the protein sequence of SsLTL, among which two sites are conserved with those in mannose-binding lectins of monocotyledonous plants. SsLTL were highly expressed in both the external and internal mucosal tissues of healthy rockfish. During the immune challenge, early up-regulation of SsLTL mRNA expression showed in gill and blood upon both poly I:C and S. iniae challenges. In contrast, the challenge with lipopolysaccharide significantly down-regulated SsLTL expression in both examined tissues. Recombinant SsLTL showed a hemagglutination activity toward fish erythrocytes, which could be enhanced by the addition of calcium ions. Furthermore, strong agglutination activity of SsLTL was also observed with a broad range of fish pathogenic bacteria. Our results implied the crucial role of SsLTL as a PRR molecule in the black rockfish defense mechanism against invading microbial pathogens.

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