Cytoplasmic Actin Is an Extracellular Insect Immune Factor which Is Secreted upon Immune Challenge and Mediates Phagocytosis and Direct Killing of Bacteria, and Is a Plasmodium Antagonist

Simone L. Sandiford, Yuemei Dong, Andrew Pike, Benjamin J. Blumberg, Ana C. Bahia, George Dimopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Actin is a highly versatile, abundant, and conserved protein, with functions in a variety of intracellular processes. Here, we describe a novel role for insect cytoplasmic actin as an extracellular pathogen recognition factor that mediates antibacterial defense. Insect actins are secreted from cells upon immune challenge through an exosome-independent pathway. Anopheles gambiae actin interacts with the extracellular MD2-like immune factor AgMDL1, and binds to the surfaces of bacteria, mediating their phagocytosis and direct killing. Globular and filamentous actins display distinct functions as extracellular immune factors, and mosquito actin is a Plasmodium infection antagonist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1004631
JournalPLoS pathogens
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology

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