Liangliang Mu, Xiaoxue Yin, Li Qiu, Jiadong Li, Jinfen Mo, Hao Bai, Qingliang Zeng, Jianmin Ye

CL-K1 Promotes Complement Activation and Regulates Opsonophagocytosis of Macrophages with CD93 Interaction in a Primitive Vertebrate

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Abstract Collectin is a crucial component of the innate immune system and plays a vital role in the initial line of defense against pathogen infection. In mammals, collectin kidney 1 (CL-K1) is a soluble collectin that has recently been identified to have significant functions in host defense. However, the evolutionary origins of immune defense of CL-K1 and its mechanism in clearance of pathogenic microorganisms remain unclear, especially in early vertebrates. In this study, the Oreochromis niloticus CL-K1 (OnCL-K1) protein was purified and identified, which was capable of binding to two important pathogens of tilapia, Streptococcus agalactiae and Aeromonas hydrophila. Interestingly, OnCL-K1 exhibited direct bactericidal activity by binding to lipoteichoic acid or LPS on cell walls, disrupting the permeability and integrity of the bacterial membrane in vitro. Upon bacterial challenge, OnCL-K1 significantly inhibited the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria, reduced the inflammatory response, and improved the survival of tilapia. Further research revealed that OnCL-K1 could associate with OnMASPs to initiate and regulate the lectin complement pathway. Additionally, OnCD93 reduced the complement-mediated hemolysis by competing with OnMASPs for binding to OnCL-K1. More importantly, OnCL-K1 could facilitate phagocytosis by collaborating with cell surface CD93 in a lectin pathway–independent manner. Moreover, OnCL-K1 also promoted the formation of phagolysosomes, which degraded and killed ingested bacteria. Therefore, this study reveals the antibacterial response mechanism of CL-K1 in primitive vertebrates, including promoting complement activation, enhancing opsonophagocytosis, and killing of macrophages, as well as its internal links, all of which provide (to our knowledge) new insights into the understanding of the evolutionary origins and regulatory roles of the collectins in innate immunity.

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