Gene structure and expression profile of Manduca sexta prophenoloxidase-activating proteinase-3 (PAP-3), an immune protein containing two clip domains.
ABSTRACT: Prophenoloxidase-activating proteinase-3 (PAP-3) is a component of the defence system in Manduca sexta. We have isolated genomic clones and elucidated the organization of this gene. The 3' end of exon 2, the entire exon 3 and the 5' end of exon 4 encode the two amino-terminal clip domains. Southern blot analysis suggested a single copy of the PAP-3 gene in the genome. We identified several putative immune-responsive elements in the upstream region. The PAP-3 gene is not highly expressed in the fat body during larval development until the wandering stage begins. The mRNA level is high in the epithelium, fat body and haemocytes. Tissue-specific alternative splicing occurs in the fat body and trachea. A bacterial injection markedly induced the gene expression in the fat body and haemocytes.
Project description:Insect phenoloxidase (PO) participates in melanotic encapsulation, wound healing, and cuticle sclerotization. It is converted from prophenoloxidase (proPO) by a proPO-activating proteinase (PAP). Manduca sexta PAP-1, the final component of a serine proteinase cascade, cleaves proPO to generate active PO. In an effort to understand the transcriptional regulation, we isolated a genomic clone of the PAP-1 gene, determined its nucleotide sequence, and elucidated its exon-intron organization. Computer analysis revealed several immune and hormone responsive elements in the upstream region. Southern blot analysis suggested that the M. sexta genome contains a single copy of PAP-1 gene. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that PAP-1 was constitutively expressed in fat body, trachea, and nerve tissue of the fifth instar larvae. The mRNA levels in hemocytes and fat body markedly increased in response to a bacterial challenge. We also observed tissue-specific and developmental regulation of the gene's transcription. Treating M. sexta fat body culture with 20-hydroxyecdysone reduced the PAP-1 mRNA level. These data indicated that the expression of PAP-1 gene is under the dual control of immune and hormonal signals.
Project description:Prophenoloxidase-activating proteinases (PAPs) take part in insect defense responses including melanotic encapsulation and wound healing. To understand their gene structure and regulation, we screened a genomic library and isolated overlapping lambda clones for Manduca sexta PAP-2, hemolymph proteinase 12 (HP12), and HP24. Complete nucleotide sequence analysis indicated that all three genes encode polypeptides with two regulatory clip domains at the amino terminus, a linker region, and a catalytic serine proteinase domain at the carboxyl terminus. Each gene contains eight exons, with introns located at equivalent positions. Similar sequences are present in introns as well as exons, indicating that these genes arose from recent gene duplication and sequence divergence. We analyzed their 5' flanking sequences and identified putative immune and hormone responsive elements. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions confirmed that PAP-2 and HP12 mRNA levels in the larval fat body and hemocytes increased after a bacterial challenge. However, HP24 expression was barely detected. PAP-2 transcripts in cultured fat body became less abundant after 20-hydroxyecdysone treatment. Thus, PAP-2, HP12, and HP24 mRNA levels are differentially regulated by immune and developmental signals. Comparison with HP15, HP23, and PAP-3 sequences suggested an evolutionary pathway of the dual clip-domain serine proteinases in M. sexta.
Project description:Serpins regulate various physiological reactions in humans and insects, including certain immune responses, primarily through inhibition of serine proteases. Six serpins have previously been identified and characterized in the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta. In this study, we obtained a full-length cDNA sequence of another Manduca serpin, named serpin-7. The open reading frame of serpin-7 encodes a polypeptide of 400 amino acid residues with a predicted signal peptide of the first 15 residues. Multiple protein sequence alignment of the reactive center loop region of the M. sexta serpins indicated that serpin-7 contains Arg-Ile at the position of the predicted scissile bond cleaved by protease in the serpin inhibition mechanism. The same residues occur in the scissile bond of the reactive center loop in M. sexta serpin-4 and serpin-5, which are protease inhibitors that can block prophenoloxidase activation in plasma. Serpin-7 transcript was detected in hemocytes and fat body, and its expression increased in fat body after injection of larvae with Micrococcus luteus. Recombinant serpin-7 added to larval plasma inhibited spontaneous melanization and decreased prophenoloxidase activation stimulated by bacteria. Serpin-7 inhibited prophenoloxidase-activating protease-3 (PAP3), forming a stable serpin-protease complex. Considering that serpin-3 and serpin-6 are also efficient inhibitors of PAP3, it appears that multiple serpins present in plasma may have redundant or overlapping functions. We conclude that serpin-7 has serine protease inhibitory activity and is likely involved in regulation of proPO activation or other protease-mediated aspects of innate immunity in M. sexta.
Project description:Analogous to blood coagulation and complement activation in mammals, some insect defense responses (e.g. prophenoloxidase (proPO) activation and Toll pathway initiation) are mediated by serine proteinase cascades and regulated by serpins in hemolymph. We recently isolated Manduca sexta serpin-6 from hemolymph of the bacteria-challenged larvae, which selectively inhibited proPO-activating proteinase-3 (PAP-3) (Wang, Y., and Jiang, H. (2004) Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 34, 387-395). To further characterize its structure and function, we cloned serpin-6 from an induced fat body cDNA library using a PCR-derived probe. M. sexta serpin-6 is 55% similar in amino acid sequence to Drosophila melanogaster serpin-5, an immune-responsive protein. We produced serpin-6 in an Escherichia coli expression system and purified the soluble protein by nickel affinity and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The recombinant protein specifically inhibited PAP-3 and blocked proPO activation in vitro in a concentration-dependent manner. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry indicated that the cleavage site of serpin-6 is between Arg373 and Ser374. Serpin-6 is constitutively present in hemolymph of naive larvae, and its mRNA and protein levels significantly increase after a bacterial injection. The association rate constant of serpin-6 and PAP-3 is 2.6 x 10(4) m(-1) s(-1), indicating that serpin-6 may contribute to the inhibitory regulation of PAP-3 in the hemolymph. We also identified the covalent complex of serpin-6 and PAP-3 in induced hemolymph by immunoaffinity chromatography and mass spectrometry. Furthermore, immulectin-2, serine proteinase homologs, proPO, PO, attacin-2, and a complex of serpin-6 and hemolymph proteinase-8 were also detected in the proteins eluted from the immunoaffinity column using serpin-6 antibody. These results suggest that serpin-6 plays important roles in the regulation of immune proteinases in the hemolymph.
Project description:Melanization is a universal defense mechanism of insects against microbial infection. During this response, phenoloxidase (PO) is activated from its precursor by prophenoloxidase activating protease (PAP), the terminal enzyme of a serine protease (SP) cascade. In the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, hemolymph protease-14 (HP14) is autoactivated from proHP14 to initiate the protease cascade after host proteins recognize invading pathogens. HP14, HP21, proHP1*, HP6, HP8, PAP1-3, and non-catalytic serine protease homologs (SPH1 and SPH2) constitute a portion of the extracellular SP-SPH system to mediate melanization and other immune responses. Here we report the expression, purification, and functional characterization of M. sexta HP2. The HP2 precursor is synthesized in hemocytes, fat body, integument, nerve and trachea. Its mRNA level is low in fat body of 5th instar larvae before wandering stage; abundance of the protein in hemolymph displays a similar pattern. HP2 exists as an active enzyme in plasma of the wandering larvae and pupae in the absence of an infection. HP14 cleaves proHP2 to yield active HP2. After incubating active HP2 with larval hemolymph, we detected higher levels of PO activity, i.e. an enhancement of proPO activation. HP2 cleaved proPAP2 (but not proPAP3 or proPAP1) to yield active PAP2, responsible for a major increase in IEARpNA hydrolysis. PAP2 activates proPOs in the presence of a cofactor of SPH1 and SPH2. In summary, we have identified a new member of the proPO activation system and reconstituted a pathway of HP14-HP2-PAP2-PO. Since high levels of HP2 mRNA were present in integument and active HP2 in plasma of wandering larvae, HP2 likely plays a role in cuticle melanization during pupation and protects host from microbial infection in a soil environment.
Project description:Extracellular serine proteinase pathways control immune and homeostatic processes in insects. Our current knowledge of their components is limited-prophenoloxidase-activating proteinases (PAPs) are among the few hemolymph proteinases (HPs) with known functions. To identify components of proteinase systems in the hemolymph of Manduca sexta, we amplified cDNAs from larval fat body or hemocytes using degenerate primers coding for two conserved regions in S1 family serine proteinases. PCR yielded fragments encoding seven known (HP1-HP4, PAP-1, PAP-2 and PAP-3) and 18 unknown (HP5-HP22) serine proteinases. We screened cDNA libraries and isolated clones for 17 of the newly discovered HPs (HP5-HP22 except for HP11) and prepared antibodies to 14 recombinant proteins (HP6, HP8-HP10, HP12, HP14-HP19, HP21 and HP22). Fourteen of the HPs contain regulatory clip domain(s) at their amino-terminus--HP1, HP2, HP6, HP8, HP13, HP17, HP18, HP21, HP22 and PAP-1 have one, whereas HP12, HP15, PAP-2 and PAP-3 have two clip domains. Multiple sequence alignment of catalytic domains in these and other arthropod serine proteinases provided useful clues for future functional analysis. Northern blot and reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) analyses showed increases in HP2, HP7, HP9, HP10, HP12-HP22 mRNA levels at 24h after a bacterial challenge, and immunoblot analysis confirmed elevated concentrations of HP12, HP14-HP19, HP21 and HP22 proteins in plasma in response to injected bacteria. Hemocytes express HP13 and HP18; fat body produces HP12, HP20-HP22; both tissues synthesize the other HPs. These results collectively indicate the existence of a complex serine proteinase network in M. sexta hemolymph, predicted to mediate rapid defense responses upon wounding and/or microbial infection.
Project description:Although the importance of peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) in detecting bacteria and promoting immunity is well recognized in Drosophila melanogaster and other insect species, such a role has not yet been experimentally established for PGRPs in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. In this study, we purified M. sexta PGRP1 from the baculovirus-insect cell expression system, tested its association with peptidoglycans and intact bacteria, and explored its possible link with the prophenoloxidase activation system in larval hemolymph. Sequence comparison suggested that PGRP1 is not an amidase and lacks residues for interacting with the carboxyl group of meso-diaminopimelic acid-peptidoglycans (DAP-PGs). M. sexta PGRP1 gene was constitutively expressed at a low level in fat body, and the mRNA concentration became much higher after an injection of Escherichia coli. Consistently, the protein concentration in larval plasma increased in a time-dependent manner after the immune challenge. Purified recombinant PGRP1 specifically bound to soluble DAP-PG of E. coli but not to soluble Lys-type PG of Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, this recognition protein completely bound to insoluble PGs from Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus subtilis, whereas its association with the bacterial cells was low even though their peptidoglycans are exposed on the cell surface. After PGRP1 had been added to plasma of naïve larvae in the absence of microbial elicitor, there was a concentration-dependent increase in prophenoloxidase activation. Phenoloxidase activity, as usual, increased after the plasma was incubated with peptidoglycans or bacterial cells. These increases became more prominent when insoluble M. luteus or B. megaterium PG or soluble E. coli PG and PGRP1 were both present. Statistic analysis suggested a synergistic effect caused by interaction between PGRP1 and these PGs. Taken together, these results indicated that PGRP1 is a member of the M. sexta prophenoloxidase activation system, which recognizes peptidoglycans from certain bacteria and initiates the host defense response. The unexplained difference between the purified PGs and intact bacteria clearly reflects our general lack of understanding of PGRP1-mediated recognition and how it leads to proPO activation.
Project description:Insect prophenoloxidase activation is coordinated by a serine protease network, which is regulated by serine protease inhibitors of the serpin superfamily. The enzyme system also leads to proteolytic processing of a Spätzle precursor. Binding of Spätzle to a Toll receptor turns on a signaling pathway to induce the synthesis of defense proteins. Previous studies of the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta have revealed key members of the protease cascade, which generates phenoloxidase for melanogenesis and Spätzle to induce immunity-related genes. Here we provide evidence that M. sexta serpin-12 regulates hemolymph protease-14 (HP14), an initiating protease of the cascade. This inhibitor, unlike the other serpins characterized in M. sexta, has an amino-terminal extension rich in hydrophilic residues and an unusual P1 residue (Leu429) right before the scissile bond cleaved by a target protease. Serpins with similarities to serpin-12, including Drosophila Necrotic, were identified in a wide range of insects including flies, moths, wasps, beetles, and two hemimetabolous species. The serpin-12 mRNA is present at low, constitutive levels in larval fat body and hemocytes and becomes more abundant after an immune challenge. We produced the serpin-12 core domain (serpin-12?N) in insect cells and in Escherichia coli and demonstrated its inhibition of human cathepsin G, bovine ?-chymotrypsin, and porcine pancreatic elastase. MALDI-TOF analysis of the reaction mixtures confirmed the predicted P1 residue of Leu429. Supplementation of larval plasma samples with the serpin-12?N decreased prophenoloxidase activation elicited by microbial cells and reduced the proteolytic activation of the protease precursors of HP6, HP8, PAPs, and other serine protease-related proteins. After incubation of plasma stimulated with peptidoglycan, a 72?kDa protein appeared, which was recognized by polyclonal antibodies against both serpin-12 and HP14, suggesting that a covalent serpin-protease complex formed when serpin-12 inhibited HP14. Together, these data suggest that M. sexta serpin-12 inhibits HP14 to regulate melanization and antimicrobial peptide induction.
Project description:Some pathogens are capable of suppressing the melanization response of host insects, but the virulence factors responsible are largely unknown. The insect pathogen Microplitis demolitor bracovirus encodes the Egf family of small serine proteinase inhibitors. One family member, Egf1.0, was recently shown to suppress melanization of hemolymph in Manduca sexta in part by inhibiting the enzymatic activity of prophenoloxidase activating proteinase 3 (PAP3). However, other experiments suggested this viral protein suppresses melanization by more than one mechanism. Here we report that Egf1.0 inhibited the amidolytic activity of PAP1 and dose-dependently blocked processing of pro-PAP1 and pro-PAP3. Consistent with its PAP inhibitory activity, Egf1.0 also prevented processing of pro-phenoloxidase, serine proteinase homolog (SPH) 1, and SPH2. Isolation of Egf1.0-protein complexes from plasma indicated that Egf1.0 binds PAPs through its C-terminal repeat domain. Egf1.0 also potentially interacts with SPH2 and two other proteins, ferritin and gloverin, not previously associated with the phenoloxidase cascade. Overall, our results indicate that Egf1.0 is a dual activity PAP inhibitor that strongly suppresses the insect melanization response.
Project description:Extracellular serine proteinase cascades stimulate prophenoloxidase (proPO) activation and antimicrobial peptide production in insect innate immune responses. Serpins in plasma regulate such cascades by selective inhibition of proteinases, in reactions which result in the formation of covalent serpin-proteinase complexes. We carried out experiments to identify plasma proteinases that are inhibited by Manduca sexta serpin-3, an immune-inducible serpin known to regulate proPO activation. Immunoaffinity chromatography, using antiserum to serpin-3, yielded serpin-3 complexes with proteinases identified by immunoblot analysis as prophenoloxidase-activating proteinase (PAP)-1, PAP-2, PAP-3, and hemolymph proteinase 8 (HP8). HP8 can cleave and activate the Toll ligand, Spätzle, leading to synthesis of antimicrobial peptides. Analysis by mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides derived from the serpin-3 complexes confirmed the presence of PAP-1, PAP-3, and HP8. Purified recombinant serpin-3 and active HP8 formed an SDS-stable complex in vitro. Identification of serpin-3-proteinase complexes in plasma provides insight into proteinase targets of serpin-3 and extends the understanding of serpin/proteinase function in the immune response of M. sexta.