Hemolin, a versatile immune protein from the Cecropia moth

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Stockholm University

Sammanfattning: Insects have become useful models for the study of innate immune mechanisms, due to their lack of antibodies and receptors involved in adaptive immune response. However, the molecules and mechanisms involved in primordial immune recognition are still poorly understood. Hemolin, originally cloned from Hyalophora cecropia, is a soluble and membrane associated Ig-related molecule which meets the criteria for a pattern recognition molecule. It is constitutively expressed in the hemolymph and up-regulated after bacterial injection. It was shown to bind specifically to the Lipid A moiety of LPS from bacteria and to associate with aggregates formed by hemocytes and bacteria. The aim of the present studies was to characterize the binding of hemolin to insect cells and further investigate the mechanisms behind. Earlier results shown in Manduca sexta were confirmed and it was shown that soluble hemolin has a deaggregating effect on naive hemocytes of H. cecropia. Moreover, hemolin increases phagocytic activity of hemocytes, especially when combined with LPS. This enhanced phagocytosis was correlated to the activity of protein kinase C and tyrosine phosphorylation. We revealed a number of cell adhesion characteristics of hemolin 1) a membrane associated form, (2) Ca2+-dependent homophilic binding, (3) glycosylation (4) importance of Ca2+ and carbohydrates on the binding to hemocytes. Based on our present results and the hemolin crystal structure, we have proposed a model for the interactions between soluble hemolin and its membrane form. The close relatedness to NCAMs prompted us to investigate its expression in other tissues than those originally described. It was found that hemolin is present in the retinal eye discs of pupae, in developing follicles during oogenesis and in embryos of H. cecropia. It was inferred that hemolin has a role in developmental processes in addition to its putative immune functions in insects. From a phylogenetic point of view, hemolin function is consistent with the assumption that non-self recognition molecules of the IgSF arose from cell-adhesion molecules with multiple functions.

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