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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2018 Jun;77:402-409. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2018.04.013. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

A novel fucolectin from Apostichopus japonicus with broad PAMP recognition pattern.

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Liaoning Key Laboratory of Marine Animal Immunology and Disease Control, Dalian Ocean University, Dalian, 116023, China.
Liaoning Key Laboratory of Marine Animal Immunology and Disease Control, Dalian Ocean University, Dalian, 116023, China; Laboratory of Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production Process, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266071, China. Electronic address:


F-type lectin (also known as fucolectin) is a newly identified family of fucose binding lectins with the sequence characters of a fucose binding motif and a unique lectin fold (the "F-type" fold). In the present study, a fucolectin was identified from sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (designated AjFL-1). The open reading frame (ORF) of AjFL-1 was of 546 bp, encoding a polypeptide of 181 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of about 20 kDa. The deduced amino acid sequence of AjFL-1 shared 30%-40% similarity with the fucolectins from other animals. There were a typical F-type lectin domain (FLD) (residues 39-180) and a signal peptide (residues 1-24) in AjFL-1. The mRNA transcript of AjFL-1 could be detected by qRT-PCR in various tissues, such as intestinum, coelomocytes, respiratory tree, tentacle, and body wall, while undetectable in the gonads and longitudinal muscle. The mRNA expression level of AjFL-1 in coelomocytes was significantly up-regulated (47.06-fold to that in control group, p < 0.05) at 12 h after Vibrio splendidus challenge. Immunofluorescence assay showed that AjFL-1 protein was mainly distributed on the membrane, while few in cytoplasm of coelomocytes in sea cucumber. The recombinant AjFL-1 (rAjFL-1) could bind lipopolysaccharide (LPS), peptidoglycan (PGN), mannan (MAN) and fucose (FUC), and exhibited a broader binding activities towards Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, Gram-positive bacterium Micrococcus luteus, as well fungus Pichia pastoris. In addition, rAjFL-1 could strongly promote the agglutination of fungus P. pastoris. These results indicated that AjFL-1 was a novel member of fucose-binding lectin family, which functioned as a pattern recognition receptor with broad spectrum of microbial recognition, and involved in innate immune response of sea cucumber.


Apostichopus japonicus; Fucolectin; Immune recognition; Microbial binding ability; Yeast agglutination

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