A NK-lysin from Cynoglossus semilaevis enhances antimicrobial defense against bacterial and viral pathogens.

Developmental and comparative immunology

PubMedID: 23524198

Zhang M, Long H, Sun L. A NK-lysin from Cynoglossus semilaevis enhances antimicrobial defense against bacterial and viral pathogens. Dev Comp Immunol. 2013;40(3-4):258-65.
NK-lysin is an effector protein of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Mammalian NK-lysin is known to possess antibacterial property and antitumor activity. Homologues of NK-lysin have been identified in several teleost species, but the natural function of fish NK-lysin remains essentially unknown. In this study, we identified a NK-lysin, CsNKL1, from half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) and analyzed its expression, genetic organization, and biological effect on pathogen infection. CsNKL1 is composed of 135 residues and shares 33.1-56.5% overall sequence identities with other teleost NK-lysin. CsNKL1 possesses a Saposin B domain and six conserved cysteine residues that in mammals are known to form three intrachain disulfide bonds essential to antimicrobial activity. The genomic sequence of the ORF region of CsNKL1 is 1240bp in length and, like human NK-lysin, contains five exons and four introns. Expression of CsNKL1 occurred in multiple tissues and was upregulated by bacterial and viral infection in a time dependent manner. When CsNKL1 was overexpressed in tongue sole, significant upregulation of interleukin-1 and chemokines was observed in spleen and head kidney. Following bacterial and viral infection, the pathogen loads in the tissues of CsNKL1-overexpressing fish were significantly lower than those in control fish. These results indicate that CsNKL1 possesses the novel capacities of immunomodulation and enhancing antimicrobial defense against pathogens of both bacterial and viral nature.