Abstract:In the present study, two C-type lectins (designated as VpClec-3 and VpClec-4) were identified and characterized from the manila clam Venerupis philippinarum. Multiple alignment and phylogenetic relationship analysis strongly suggested that VpClec-3 and VpClec-4 belong to the C-type lectin family. In nonstimulated clams, the VpClec-3 transcript was dominantly expressed in the hepatopancreas, while the VpClec-4 transcript was mainly expressed in gill tissues. Both VpClec-3 and VpClec-4 mRNA expression was significantly upregulated following Vibrio anguillarum challenge. Recombinant VpClec-4 (rVpClec-4) was shown to bind lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and glucan in vitro, whereas recombinant VpClec-3 (rVpClec-3) only bound to glucan. In addition, rVpClec-3 and rVpClec-4 displayed broad agglutination activities towards Vibrio harveyi, Vibrio splendidus and V. anguillarum, while no agglutination activities towards Enterobacter cloacae or Aeromonas hydrophila were observed in rVpClec-3. Moreover, hemocyte phagocytosis was significantly enhanced by rVpClec-3 and rVpClec-4. All the results showed that VpClecs function as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) with distinct recognition spectra and are potentially involved in the innate immune responses of V. philippinarum.