Microbial pathogens use a variety of their surface molecules to bind to host extracellular matrix (ECM) components to establish an effective infection. However, ECM components can also serve as an integral part of the innate immunity. Mice lacking expression of mindin (spondin 2), a highly conserved ECM protein, have an impaired ability to clear bacterial infection, and mindin-deficient macrophages show defective responses to a broad spectrum of microbial stimuli. Moreover, mindin binds directly to bacteria and their components and functions as an opsonin for macrophage phagocytosis of bacteria. Thus, mindin is essential in the initiation of the innate immune response and represents a unique pattern-recognition molecule in the ECM for microbial pathogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy