Examination of the stimulatory signaling potential of a channel catfish leukocyte immune-type receptor and associated adaptor.
ABSTRACT Expressed by various subsets of myeloid and lymphoid immune cells, channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) leukocyte immune-type receptors (IpLITRs) are predicted to play a key role in the initiation and termination of teleost cellular effector responses. These type I transmembrane proteins belong to the immunoglobulin superfamily and display features of immunoregulatory receptors with inhibitory and/or stimulatory signaling potential. Expanding on our previous work, which demonstrated that putative stimulatory IpLITR-types associated with the catfish adaptor proteins IpFcRγ and FcRγ-L, this study focuses on the functional significance of this immune receptor-adaptor signaling complex. Specifically, we generated an epitope-tagged chimeric receptor construct by fusing the extracellular domain of IpLITR 2.6b with the transmembrane region and cytoplasmic tail of IpFcRγ-L. This chimera was stably expressed in a rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cell line, RBL-2H3, and following cross-linking of the surface receptor with an anti-hemagglutinin monoclonal antibody or opsonized microspheres, the chimeric teleost receptor induced cellular degranulation and phagocytic responses, respectively. Site-directed mutagenesis of the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif encoded within the cytoplasmic tail of the chimera confirmed that these functional responses were dependent on the phosphorylated tyrosines within this motif. Using a combination of phospho-specific antibodies and pharmacological inhibitors, we also demonstrate that the IpLITR/IpFcRγ-L-induced degranulation response requires the activity of Src homology 2 domain containing protein tyrosine phosphatases, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, protein kinase C, and mitogen-activated protein kinases but appears independent of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 MAP kinase pathways. In addition to this first look at stimulatory IpLITR-mediated signaling and its influence on cellular effector responses, the advantage of generating RBL-2H3 cells stably expressing a functional IpLITR-adaptor chimera will be discussed.