Immunocompetent molecules and their response network in horseshoe crabs

Shun Ichiro Kawabata

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

40 Citations (Scopus)


Horseshoe crab hemocyte selectively responds to bacterial lipopolysaccharides(LPS), which depends critically on the proteolytic activity of the LPS-responsive serine protease zymogen factor C. In response to stimulation by LPS, the hemocyte secretes several kinds of immunocompetent proteins. The coagulation cascade triggered by LPS or β-1,3-D-glucans (BDG) results in the formation of coagulin fibrils that are subsequently stabilized by transglutaminase (TGase)-dependent cross-linking. Invading pathogens are recognized and agglutinated by lectins and then killed by antimicrobial peptides. Moreover, LPS-triggered hemocyte exocytosis is enhanced by a feedback mechanism in which the antimicrobial peptides serve as endogenous mediators. Factor C also acts as an LPS-sensitive complement C3 convertase. In addition, a sub-cuticular epidermis-derived protein forms a TGase-stabilized mesh at sites of injury. Horseshoe crabs have a sophisticated innate immune response network that coordinately effects pathogen recognition and killing, prophenoloxidase activation, complement activation and TGase-dependent wound healing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInvertebrate Immunity
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media, LLC
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781441980588
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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