We designed a method for separating two types of granules, a smaller (S) but dense and a larger (L) but less dense granule from hemocytes of the horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus), using continuous sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The isolated L-granules contained at least three clotting factors plus a clottable protein, coagulogen, as the major component. The known anti-lipopolysaccharide factor and 7 additional unknown protein components were also present in the L-granules. Two known natural substrates, Pro-rich protein and 8.6 kOa protein, for limulus transglutaminase [Tokunaga, F.,Yamada, M., Miyata, T., Ding, Y.-L., Hiranaga-Kawabata, M., Muta, T., Iwanaga, S., Ichinose, A., & Davie, E.W. (1993) J. BioL Chenu 268, 252-261] were present in the L-granules. On the other hand, the isolated S-granules contained antimicrobial tachyplesinsI and II (17 amino acids in length) as the major component, in addition to 6 unidentified proteins with molecular masses of less than 30 kDa. The structural analyses of tachyplesin analogs indicated that all these peptides of mature form are stored in the S-granules, together with a processing intermediate containing the COOH-terminal Gly- Lys sequence. We also found an Arg-rich protein of 22 kDa and a Leu-rich protein of 30 kDa in S-granules. Based on these observations, we speculate that protein components inL-granules, which probably contain all the factors essential for the limulus clotting system, participate in immobilization of invading microbes and that factors in the S-granules containing tachyplesins contribute to a self-defense system against invaders.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of biochemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 1993 Sep|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology