Characterization of putative recognition components of echinoderm coelomic fluid: agglutinins in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/hd76s2521

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  • Due to an interest in the evolutionary origins of vertebrate mechanisms of immunorecognition, researchers have frequently turned to deuterostome invertebrates as model organisms. The purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea), was selected for this study of putative immunorecognition molecules in a deuterostome invertebrate. Hemagglutinins, molecules which agglutinate red blood cells, have been reported in most invertebrates including echinoderms. Most relevant studies have characterized hemagglutinins as lectins, carbohydrate-binding molecules, and for this reason these substances have been proposed as primitive recognition molecules. The work presented here describes the occurrence and range of hemagglutinins in the coelomic fluid of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, and attempts to characterize the sugar-binding capabilities of these molecules and their responses to various chemical and enzyme treatments. The results of screening and cross-adsorption experiments with vertebrate red blood cells are described. The existence of at least two hemagglutinating activities in the coelomic fluid of S. purpuratus is demonstrated. Results presented for sugar-inhibition tests support this finding. Glycoproteins were found to be the best inhibitors of all hemagglutinating activity in coelomic fluid. This information suggests that the binding sites for S. purpuratus hemagglutinins may be more complex than can be revealed by mono- and simple oligosaccharide inhibition experiments. The agglutinating activities were unaffected by trypsin, pronase, or periodate treatments, and were relatively heat-stable. In general, the information presented in this thesis shows that multiple hemagglutinating activities, that appear to act as lectins, are present in the coelomic fluid of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.
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