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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01992

SpBark Suppresses Bacterial Infection by Mediating Hemocyte Phagocytosis in an Invertebrate Model, Scylla paramamosain

 Xin-Cang Li1*, Jian Zhou1, Jun-Fang Zhou2, Yue Wang1,  Hongyu Ma3, Yuan Wang2,  Shu Zhao2 and Wen-Hong Fang1
  • 1East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of East China Sea and Oceanic Fishery Resources Exploitation, Ministry of Agriculture, East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, China
  • 3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology, Shantou University, China

Scavenger receptors are cell surface membrane-bound receptors that typically bind multiple ligands and promote the removal of endogenous proteins and pathogens. In this study, we characterized a novel scavenger receptor-like protein, namely, SpBark. SpBark was upregulated in hemocytes after challenges with bacteria, suggesting that it might be involved in antibacterial defense. SpBark is a type I transmembrane protein with four extracellular domains, including three scavenger receptor cysteine-rich domains (SRCRDs) and a C-type lectin domain (CTLD). Western blot assay showed that SpBark CTLD possessed a much stronger binding activity to tested microbes than the three SRCRDs. It also exhibited apparent binding activities to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and acetylated low-density lipoprotein (ac-LDL), whereas the other SRCRDs showed much lower or no binding activities to these components. Agglutination activities were observed in the presence of Ca2+ by incubating microorganisms with SpBark CTLD instead of SRCRDs. These results suggested that SpBark CTLD was the major binding site for ac-LDL and LPS. Coating Vibrio parahemolyticus with SpBark CTLD promoted bacterial clearance in vivo. This finding indicated that SpBark might participate in the immune defenses against Gram-negative bacteria through a certain mechanism. The promotion of bacterial clearance by SpBark was further determined using SpBark-silenced crabs injected with V. parahemolyticus. SpBark knockdown by injection of SpBark dsRNA remarkably suppressed the clearance of bacteria in hemolymph. Meanwhile, it also severely restrained the phagocytosis of bacteria. This finding suggested that SpBark could modulate the phagocytosis of bacteria, and the promotion of bacterial clearance by SpBark was closely related to SpBark-mediated phagocytosis activity. The likely mechanism of bacterial clearance mediated by SpBark was as follows: SpBark acted as a pattern recognition receptor, which could sense and bind to LPS on the surface of invading bacteria with its CTLD in hemolymph. The binding to LPS made the bacteria adhere to the surface of hemocytes. This process would facilitate phagocytosis of the bacteria, resulting in their removal. This study provided new insights into the hemocyte phagocytosis mechanisms of invertebrates and the multiple biological functions of Bark proteins.

Keywords: scavenger receptor-like protein, C-type lectin domain, LPS-binding activity, bacterial clearance, Phagocytosis activity, Scylla paramamosain

Received: 31 May 2019; Accepted: 06 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Li, Zhou, Zhou, Wang, Ma, Wang, Zhao and Fang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Xin-Cang Li, East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Shanghai, China,