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J Biol Chem. 2013 Mar 22;288(12):8258-68. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.440883. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

The human antimicrobial peptide LL-37, but not the mouse ortholog, mCRAMP, can stimulate signaling by poly(I:C) through a FPRL1-dependent pathway.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7005, USA.


LL-37 is an antimicrobial peptide produced by human cells that can down-regulate the lipopolysaccharide-induced innate immune responses and up-regulate double-stranded (ds) RNA-induced innate responses through Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3). The murine LL-37 ortholog, mCRAMP, also inhibited lipopolysaccharide-induced responses, but unlike LL-37, it inhibited viral-induced responses in mouse cells. A fluorescence polarization assay showed that LL-37 was able to bind dsRNA better than mCRAMP. In the human lung epithelial cell line BEAS-2B, LL-37, but not mCRAMP, colocalized with TLR3, and the colocalization was increased in the presence of dsRNA. The presence of poly(I:C) increased the accumulation of LL-37 in Rab5 endosomes. Signaling by cells induced with both LL-37 and poly(I:C) was sensitive to inhibitors that affect clathrin-independent trafficking, whereas signaling by poly(I:C) alone was not, suggesting that the LL-37-poly(I:C) complex trafficked to signaling endosomes by a different mechanism than poly(I:C) alone. siRNA knockdown of known LL-37 receptors identified that FPRL1 was responsible for TLR3 signaling induced by LL-37-poly(I:C). These results show that LL-37 and mCRAMP have different activities in TLR3 signaling and that LL-37 can redirect trafficking of poly(I:C) to effect signaling by TLR3 in early endosomes in a mechanism that involves FPRL1.

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