Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 427–439 | Cite as

TLR-independent induction of human monocyte IL-1 by phosphoglycolipids from thermophilic bacteria

  • Feng-Ling Yang
  • Kuo-Feng Hua
  • Yu-Liang Yang
  • Wei Zou
  • Yen-Po Chen
  • Shu-Mei Liang
  • Hsien-Yeh HsuEmail author
  • Shih-Hsiung WuEmail author


The structures of phosphoglycolipids PGL1 and PGL2 from the thermophilic bacteria Meiothermus taiwanensis, Meiothermus ruber, Thermus thermophilus, and Thermus oshimai are determined recently (Yang et al. in J Lipid Res. 47:1823–1932, 2006). These bacteria belong to Gram-negative bacteria that do not contain lipopolysaccharide, but high amounts of phosphoglycolipids and glycoglycerolipids. Here we show that PGL1/PGL2 mixture (PGL1: PGL2 = 10:1 ~ 10:2) from M. taiwanensis and T. oshimai, but not T. thermophilus and M. ruber, up-regulate interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production in human THP-1 monocytes and blood-isolated primary monocytes. PGL2 was purified after phospholipase A2 hydrolysis of PGL1 in the PGL1/PGL2 mixture followed by column chromatography. PGL2 did not induce proIL-1 production, even, partially (35–40%) inhibited PGL1-mediated proIL-1 production, showing that PGL1 is the main inducer of proIL-1 production in PGL1/PGL2 mixture. The production of proIL-1 stimulated by phosphoglycolipids was strongly inhibited by specific PKC-α, MEK1/2, and JNK inhibitors, but not by p38-specific inhibitor. The intracellular calcium influx was involved in phosphoglycolipids-mediated proIL-1 production. Using blocking antibody and Toll-like receptor (TLR)-linked NF-κB luciferase assays, we found that the cellular receptor(s) for phosphoglycolipids on proIL-1 production was TLR-independent. Further, phosphoglycolipids isolated from T. thermophilus and M. ruber did not induce proIL-1 production, even though T. thermophilus possess more PGL1 than PGL2 (6:4). Specially, the fatty acid composition of phosphoglycolipids from both T. thermophilus and M. ruber consists of a low percentage of C15 (<10%) and a high percentage of C17 (>75%). It suggests, the C15 percentage of PGL may play a critical role in PGL-mediated proIL-1 induction.


Phosphoglycolipids Thermophilic bacteria Immunomodulators 



This work was supported by National Science Council, Taiwan, (NSC 92-2321-B-001-019 and 94-2311-B-001-045 to S-H Wu; NSC 93-2314-B-010-003 and 94-2120-M-010-002 to H-Y Hsu); National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (NHRI-EX93-9211SI and support for the cost of reprints to H-Y Hsu); the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, on Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities (A-91-B-FA09-2-4 to H-Y Hsu); a grant from Ministry of Education, Aim for the Top University Plan (95A-C-D01-PPG-10 to H-Y Hsu); Academia Sinica (Thematic project to H-Y Hsu).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feng-Ling Yang
    • 1
  • Kuo-Feng Hua
    • 2
  • Yu-Liang Yang
    • 1
  • Wei Zou
    • 3
  • Yen-Po Chen
    • 4
  • Shu-Mei Liang
    • 4
  • Hsien-Yeh Hsu
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Shih-Hsiung Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Biological ChemistryAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology and Laboratory Science in MedicineNational Yang-Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute for Biological SciencesNational Research Council of CanadaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Agricultural Biotechnology Research CenterAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Education and ResearchTaipei City HospitalTaipeiTaiwan

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