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The Long Pentraxin PTX3, a Soluble Pattern Recognition Receptor Involved in Innate Immunity,Inflammation and Female Fertility

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Pentraxins are a family of evolutionarily conserved multifunctional pattern-recognition proteins characterized by a cyclic multimeric structure. Based on the primary structure of the subunit, the pentraxins are divided into two groups: short pentraxins and long pentraxins. C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid P-component (SAP) are the two short pentraxins. The prototype protein of the long pentraxin group is pentraxin 3 (PTX3). CRP and SAP are produced primarily in the liver in response to IL-6, while PTX3 is produced by a variety of tissues and cells and in particular, by innate immunity cells in response to proinflammatory signals and Toll-like receptor (TLR) engagement. PTX3 interacts with several ligands, including growth factors, extracellular matrix components and selected pathogens, playing a role in complement activation and facilitating pathogen recognition by phagocytes, acting as a predecessor of antibodies. In addition, PTX3 is essential in female fertility by acting as a nodal point for the assembly of the cumulus oophorus hyaluronan-rich extracellular matrix.

Thus, the prototypic long pentraxin PTX3 is a multifunctional soluble pattern recognition receptor acting as a nonredundant component of the humoral arm of innate immunity and involved in tuning inflammation, in matrix deposition and female fertility.



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Keywords: Pentraxins; inflammation; innate immunity; marker

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • Current Immunology Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical immunology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians in clinical immunology.
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