Opportunistic invasive fungal pathogen Macrophomina phaseolina prognosis from immunocompromised humans to potential mitogenic RBL with an exceptional and novel antitumor and cytotoxic effect
BACKGROUND Rhizoctonia bataticola lectin (RBL), purified from phytopathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia bataticola is highly mitogenic towards human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The lectin has sugar specificity towards N-glycans and binds to glycoproteins containing complex N-glycans (Nagre et al., Glycoconj J. 2010). In this study, we investigated the role of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) and Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STAT)-5 signaling in RBL-induced proliferation and production of Th1/Th2 cytokines. METHODS Human PBMC were stimulated with RBL and proliferation was determined by tritiated thymidine incorporation assay, cytokine profiles by ELISA and activation of MAPK and STAT-5 by western blotting. RBL binding was monitored by immunofluorescence staining. Expression of IL-2Rα (CD25) was measured by flow cytometry. RESULTS The binding and mitogenic activities of RBL were inhibited by glycoproteins- mucin, asialofetuin and fetuin. RBL stimulated expression of IL-2Rα and production of Th1/Th2 cytokines- IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-10. RBL-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK was detected at 1h and 3h respectively. Significant phosphorylation of STAT-5 (tyr(694)) was observed at 12h. Pharmacological inhibitors of p38 MAPK (SB203580) and JAK/STAT (AG490) but not ERK (PD98059) abrogated proliferation. RBL-induced expression of IL-2Rα and secretion of cytokines were drastically inhibited by SB203580 and AG490. CONCLUSIONS RBL-induced proliferation and production of Th1/Th2 cytokines are mediated via p38 MAPK and STAT-5 signaling. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE RBL, a lectin with complex sugar specificity, is strongly mitogenic to human PBMC and stimulates the production of Th1 and Th2 cytokines. The results identified the signaling mechanism underlying the immunostimulatory activity of RBL.