Identification of diacylated ureas as a novel family of fungus-specific leukocyte-activating pathogen-associated molecules.

Authors:
Jens-Michael Schröder, Robert Häsler, Jörg Grabowsky, Barbara Kahlke, Anthony I Mallet
Year of publication:
2002
Volume:
277
Issue:
31
Issn:
0021-9258
Journal title abbreviated:
J BIOL CHEM
Journal title long:
JBC papers in press
Impact factor:
4.106
Abstract:
Polymorphonuclear leukocytes represent primary components of the host''s innate immune defenses against fungal infection, suggesting involvement of fungal leukocyte attractants. We have found in various fungi, but not in bacteria or host cells, unstable lipid-like leukocyte chemoattractants, which also induced adherence and degranulation in human neutrophils. Purification from bakers'' yeast and structural analyses by electrospray mass spectrometry, (1)H NMR spectroscopy, and chemical synthesis revealed these inflammatory mediators as diacylated ureas, a novel class of unstable lipoids. The N,N''-dipalmitoleyl urea appeared to be the most potent innate immune responses inducing compound eliciting half-maximum neutrophil chemotactic activity at 140 nm. The all-trans isomer, N,N''-dipalmitelaidyl urea, was found to be inactive with respect to stimulation of degranulation in neutrophils, which indicates a Delta(9) cis-double bond to be essential for bioactivity of these diacyl ureas. N,N''-Dipalmitoleyl urea elicited Ca(2+) mobilization in neutrophils, which was found to be pertussis toxin-sensitive and sensitive toward a carboxylmethyltransferase inhibitor, indicating that these diacyl ureas activate leukocytes via a putative Galpha(i)-protein-coupled receptor. Their isolation exclusively from fungi suggests that these lipoids are fungus-specific pathogen-associated molecules that may alert the human innate immunity system to the presence of a fungal infection.