PloS one

Toll-like receptor 2 and Toll-like receptor 4-dependent activation of B cells by a polysaccharide from marine fungus Phoma herbarum YS4108.

PMID 23556003


Various natural polysaccharides are capable of activating the immune system and therefore can be employed as biological response modifiers in anti-tumor therapy. We previously found a homogenous polysaccharide from the mycelium of marine fungus Phoma herbarum YS4108, named YCP, exhibiting strong in vivo antitumor ability via enhancement of the host immune responses. To further elucidate the role of YCP as a biological response modifier, the immunomodulating activities of YCP in B cells was investigated in the current study. We demonstrated that stimulation of YCP with murine splenic B cells resulted in cell proliferation and generation of IgM antibody response. Binding of YCP to B cells was a direct, saturable and reversible event and required TLR2 and TLR4 involvement. TLR2 and TLR4 defunctionalization by either antibody blocking or allele-specific mutation significantly impaired the B-cell proliferative and IgM responses to YCP. YCP interaction with TLR2 and TLR4 led to the activation of intracellular p38, ERK and JNK, as well as the translocation of transcriptional factor NF-κB into nucleus. Furthermore, specific inhibitors of p38, ERK, JNK and NF-κB could attenuate the ability of YCP to induce B cell proliferation and IgM production. Taken together, this study has indicated for the first time the immunostimulating properties of YCP on B cells through a receptor-mediated mechanism, which involves TLR2 and TLR4 and resultant activation of MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways, thereby highlighting the role of YCP as an efficacious biological response modifier in oncologic immunotherapy.

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