Characterization of a novel Manduca sexta beta-1, 3-glucan recognition protein (βGRP3) with multiple functions

Xiang Jun Rao, Xue Zhong, Xin Yu Lin, Xiao Hong Huang, Xiao Qiang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recognition of pathogens by insect pattern recognition receptors is critical to mount effective immune responses. In this study, we reported a new member (βGRP3) of the β-1, 3-glucan recognition protein (βGRP) family from the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta. Unlike other members of the M.sexta βGRP family proteins, which contain an N-terminal small glucan binding domain and a C-terminal large glucanase-like domain, βGRP3 is 40-45 residues shorter at the N-terminus and lacks the small glucan binding domain. The glucanase-like domain of βGRP3 is most similar to that of M.sexta microbe binding protein (MBP) with 78% identity. βGRP3 transcript was mainly expressed in the fat body, and both its mRNA and protein levels were not induced by microorganisms in larvae. Recombinant βGRP3 purified from Drosophila S2 cells could bind to several Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and yeast, as well as to laminarin (β-1, 3-glucan), mannan, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipoteichoic acid (LTA), and meso-diaminopimelic acid (DAP)-type peptidoglycan (PG), but did not bind to Lysine-type PG. Binding of βGRP3 to laminarin could be competed well by free laminarin, mannan, LPS and LTA, but almost not competed by free PGs. Recombinant βGRP3 could agglutinate Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli in a calcium-dependent manner and showed antibacterial (bacteriostatic) activity against B.cereus, novel functions that have not been reported for the βGRP family proteins before. M.sexta βGRP3 may serve as an immune surveillance receptor with multiple functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Agglutination
  • Antibacterial
  • Innate immunity
  • Microbial cell walls
  • βGRP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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