Immunosuppressive Activities of Novel PLA2 Inhibitors from Xenorhabdus hominickii, an Entomopathogenic Bacterium.
ABSTRACT: Eicosanoids mediate both cellular and humoral immune responses in insects. Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) catalyzes the first committed step in eicosanoid biosynthesis. It is a common pathogenic target of two entomopathogenic bacteria, Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus. The objective of this study was to identify novel PLA2 inhibitors from X. hominickii and determine their immunosuppressive activities. To identify novel PLA2 inhibitors, stepwise fractionation of X. hominickii culture broth and subsequent enzyme assays were performed. Eight purified fractions of bacterial metabolites were obtained. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis predicted that the main components in these eight fractions were 2-cyanobenzoic acid, dibutylamine, 2-ethyl 1-hexanol, phthalimide (PM), dioctyl terephthalate, docosane, bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and 3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenol (EMP). Their synthetic compounds inhibited the activity of PLA2 in hemocytes of a lepidopteran insect, Spodoptera exigua, in a dose-dependent manner. They also showed significant inhibitory activities against immune responses such as prophenoloxidase activation and hemocytic nodulation of S. exigua larvae, with PM and EMP exhibiting the most potent inhibitory activities. These immunosuppressive activities were specific through PLA2 inhibition because an addition of arachidonic acid, a catalytic product of PLA2, significantly rescued such suppressed immune responses. The two most potent compounds (PM and EMP) showed significant insecticidal activities after oral administration. When the compounds were mixed with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), they markedly increased Bt pathogenicity. This study identified eight PLA2 inhibitors from bacterial metabolites of X. hominickii and demonstrated their potential as novel insecticides.
Project description:After infection or invasion is recognized, biochemical mediators act in signaling insect immune functions. These include biogenic amines, insect cytokines, eicosanoids, and nitric oxide (NO). Treating insects or isolated hemocyte populations with different mediators often leads to similar results. Separate treatments with an insect cytokine, 2 biogenic amines, and an eicosanoid lead to a single result, hemocyte spreading, understood in terms of intracellular cross-talk among these signaling systems. This study focuses on the cross-talk between NO and eicosanoid signaling in our model insect, Spodoptera exigua. Bacterial injection increased NO concentrations in the larval hemocytes and fat body, and RNA interference (RNAi) of the S. exigua NO synthase (NOS) gene suppressed NO concentrations. RNAi treatment also led to a significant reduction in hemocyte nodulation following bacterial injection. Similar RNAi treatments led to significantly reduced PLA2 activities in the hemocytes and fat body compared to control larvae. Injection of L-NAME also prevented the induction of PLA2 activity following bacterial challenge. An injected NO donor, S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine, increased PLA2 activity in a dose-dependent manner. However, eicosanoids did not influence NO concentrations in immune-challenged larvae. We infer that NO and eicosanoid signaling operate via cross-talk mechanisms in which the elevated NO concentrations activate PLA2 and eicosanoid biosynthesis, which finally mediates various immune responses.
Project description:It is generally considered that eumelanin (EM) is photoprotective while pheomelanin (PM) is phototoxic. A recent study using a mouse model demonstrated that PM produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause DNA damage and eventually lead to melanomagenesis. A biochemical study showed that PM possesses a pro-oxidant activity. PM consists of benzothiazine (BT) and benzothiazole (BZ) moieties, BT moieties being transformed to BZ moieties by heat or light. In this study, we compared the effects of ultraviolet A (UVA) irradiation using synthetic PMs with different BT to BZ ratios and using various coat color mouse hairs. We found that UVA irradiation of BZ-PM increased glutathione (GSH) depletion and generated more H?O? than UVA irradiation of BT-PM. Non-irradiated controls did not exhibit strong pro-oxidant activities. Upon UVA irradiation, yellow mouse hairs oxidized GSH and produced H?O? faster than black or albino mouse hairs. Next, to examine the mechanism of the pro-oxidant activity of BT-PM and BZ-PM, we examined the pro-oxidant activities of 7-(2-amino-2-carboxyethyl)-dihydro-1,4-benzothiazine-3-carboxylic acid (DHBTCA) and 6-(2-amino-2-carboxyethyl)-4-hydroxybenzothiazole (BZ-AA) as BT and BZ monomers, respectively. Their pro-oxidant activities were similar, but a large difference was seen in the effects of ROS scavengers, which suggests that the redox reactions may proceed via singlet oxygen in BZ-AA and via superoxide anions in DHBTCA. These results show that UVA enhances the pro-oxidant activity of PM, in particular BZ-PM.
Project description:Relatively recent evidence indicates that ABCC2 transporters play a main role in the mode of action of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A-type proteins. Mapping of major Cry1A resistance genes has linked resistance to the ABCC2 locus in Heliothis virescens, Plutella xylostella, Trichoplusia ni and Bombyx mori, and mutations in this gene have been found in three of these Bt-resistant strains.We have used a colony of Spodoptera exigua (Xen-R) highly resistant to a Bt commercial bioinsecticide to identify regions in the S. exigua genome containing loci for major resistance genes by using bulk segregant analysis (BSA). Results reveal a region containing three genes from the ABCC family (ABBC1, ABBC2 and ABBC3) and a mutation in one of them (ABBC2) as responsible for the resistance of S. exigua to the Bt commercial product and to its key Spodoptera-active ingredients, Cry1Ca. In contrast to all previously described mutations in ABCC2 genes that directly or indirectly affect the extracellular domains of the membrane protein, the ABCC2 mutation found in S. exigua affects an intracellular domain involved in ATP binding. Functional analyses of ABBC2 and ABBC3 support the role of both proteins in the mode of action of Bt toxins in S. exigua. Partial silencing of these genes with dsRNA decreased the susceptibility of wild type larvae to both Cry1Ac and Cry1Ca. In addition, reduction of ABBC2 and ABBC3 expression negatively affected some fitness components and induced up-regulation of arylphorin and repat5, genes that respond to Bt intoxication and that are found constitutively up-regulated in the Xen-R strain.The current results show the involvement of different members of the ABCC family in the mode of action of B. thuringiensis proteins and expand the role of the ABCC2 transporter in B. thuringiensis resistance beyond the Cry1A family of proteins to include Cry1Ca.
Project description:Understanding how insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) interact with their hosts is crucial to fully explain the molecular bases of Bt specificity and insecticidal activity. Previous studies support ATP binding cassette transporters (ABCC2/3) and one cadherin-like protein are Cry1Ac functional receptors in the beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua). In this study, a combined one-dimensional gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting approach identified aminopeptidase N (APNs) as putative Cry1Ac binding proteins in the midgut brush border membrane of S. exigua larvae. Functional analyses by gene silencing of six different S. exigua APN genes (SeAPN1, SeAPN2, SeAPN3, SeAPN4, SeAPN5 and SeAPN6) showed that only suppression of SeAPN1 resulted in decreased larval susceptibility to Cry1Ac toxin. These results support that SeAPN1 plays important functional role in Cry1Ac toxicity in S. exigua.
Project description:Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5-HT) is a biogenic monoamine that mediates immune responses and modulates nerve signal in insects. Se-5HTR, a specific receptor of serotonin, has been identified in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua. It is classified into subtype 7 among known 5HTRs. Se-5HTR was expressed in all developmental stages of S. exigua. It was expressed in all tested tissues of larval stage. Its expression was up-regulated in hemocytes and fat body in response to immune challenge. RNA interference (RNAi) of Se-5HTR exhibited significant immunosuppression by preventing cellular immune responses such as phagocytosis and nodulation. Treatment with an inhibitor (SB-269970) specific to 5HTR subtype 7 resulted in significant immunosuppression. Furthermore, knockout mutant of Se-5HTR by CRISPR-Cas9 led to significant reduction of phagocytotic activity of S. exigua hemocytes. Such immunosuppression was also induced by bacterial secondary metabolites derived from Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus. To determine specific bacterial metabolites inhibiting Se-5HTR, this study screened 37 bacterial secondary metabolites with respect to cellular immune responses associated with Se-5HTR and selected 10 potent inhibitors. These 10 selected compounds competitively inhibited cellular immune responses against 5-HT and shared phenylethylamide (PEA) chemical skeleton. Subsequently, 46 PEA derivatives were screened and resulting potent chemicals were used to design a compound to be highly inhibitory against Se-5HTR. The designed compound was chemically synthesized. It showed high immunosuppressive activities along with specific and competitive inhibition activity for Se-5HTR. This study reports the first 5HT receptor from S. exigua and provides its specific inhibitor designed from bacterial metabolites and their derivatives.
Project description:The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis produces Crystal (Cry) proteins that are toxic to a diverse range of insects. Transgenic crops that produce Bt Cry proteins are grown worldwide because of their improved resistance to insect pests. Although Bt "pyramid" cotton that produces both Cry1A and Cry2A is predicted to be more resistant to several lepidopteran pests, including Spodoptera exigua, than plants that produce Cry1Ac alone, the mechanisms responsible for the toxicity of Cry2Aa in S. exigua are not well understood. We identified several proteins that bind Cry2Aa (polycalin, V-ATPase subunits A and B, actin, 4-hydroxybutyrate CoA-transferase [4-HB-CoAT]), and a receptor for activated protein kinase C (Rack), in S. exigua. Recombinant, expressed versions of these proteins were able to bind the Cry2Aa toxin in vitro assays. RNA interference gene knockdown of the Se-V-ATPase subunit B significantly decreased the susceptibility of S. exigua larvae to Cry2Aa, whereas knockdown of the other putative binding proteins did not. Moreover, an in vitro homologous competition assay demonstrated that the Se-V-ATPase subunit B binds specifically to the Cry2Aa toxin, suggesting that this protein acts as a functional receptor of Cry2Aa in S. exigua. This the first Cry2Aa toxin receptor identified in S. exigua brush-border membrane vesicles.
Project description:Nitric oxide (NO) mediates both cellular and humoral immune responses in insects. Its mediation of cellular immune responses uses eicosanoids as a downstream signal. However, the cross-talk with two immune mediators was not known in humoral immune responses. This study focuses on cross-talk between two immune mediators in inducing gene expression of anti-microbial peptides (AMPs) of a lepidopteran insect, Spodoptera exigua. Up-regulation of eight AMPs was observed in S. exigua against bacterial challenge. However, the AMP induction was suppressed by injection of an NO synthase inhibitor, L-NAME, while little expressional change was observed on injecting its enantiomer, D-NAME. The functional association between NO biosynthesis and AMP gene expression was further supported by RNA interference (RNAi) against NO synthase (SeNOS), which suppressed AMP gene expression under the immune challenge. The AMP induction was also mimicked by NO alone because injecting an NO analog, SNAP, without bacterial challenge significantly induced the AMP gene expression. Interestingly, an eicosanoid biosynthesis inhibitor, dexamethasone (DEX), suppressed the NO induction of AMP expression. The inhibitory activity of DEX was reversed by the addition of arachidonic acid, a precursor of eicosanoid biosynthesis. AMP expression of S. exigua was also controlled by the Toll/IMD signal pathway. The RNAi of Toll receptors or Relish suppressed AMP gene expression by suppressing NO levels and subsequently reducing PLA2 enzyme activity. These results suggest that eicosanoids are a downstream signal of NO mediation of AMP expression against bacterial challenge.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests a proatherogenic role for lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A? (Lp-PLA2). A meta-analysis of published cohorts has shown that Lp-PLA2 is an independent predictor of coronary heart disease events and stroke. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we investigated whether the association between air pollution and cardiovascular disease might be partly explained by increased Lp-PLA2 mass in response to exposure. METHODS: A prospective longitudinal study of 200 patients who had had a myocardial infarction was performed in Augsburg, Germany. Up to six repeated clinical examinations were scheduled every 4-6 weeks between May 2003 and March 2004. Supplementary to the multicenter AIRGENE protocol, we assessed repeated plasma Lp-PLA2 concentrations. Air pollution data from a fixed monitoring site representing urban background concentrations were collected. We measured hourly means of particle mass [particulate matter (PM) < 10 µm (PM??) and PM < 2.5 µm (PM(2.5)) in aerodynamic diameter] and particle number concentrations (PNCs), as well as the gaseous air pollutants carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO?), ozone (O?), nitric oxide (NO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO?). Data were analyzed using mixed models with random patient effects. RESULTS: Lp-PLA2 showed a positive association with PM??, PM(2.5), and PNCs, as well as with CO, NO?, NO, and SO? 4-5 days before blood withdrawal (lag 4-5). A positive association with O? was much more immediate (lag 0). However, inverse associations with some pollutants were evident at shorter time lags. CONCLUSION: These preliminary findings should be replicated in other study populations because they suggest that the accumulation of acute and subacute effects or the chronic exposure to ambient particulate and gaseous air pollution may result in the promotion of atherosclerosis, mediated, at least in part, by increased levels of Lp-PLA2.
Project description:The insecticidal Vip3 proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), along with the classical Bt Cry proteins, are currently used in Bt-crops to control insect pests, since they do not share the same mode of action. Here we characterized the response of Spodoptera exigua larvae after Vip3 challenge. The expression profile of 47 genes was analyzed in larvae challenged with three concentrations of Vip3Ca. Results showed that the up-regulated genes were mainly involved in immune response, whereas the down-regulated genes were mainly involved in the digestion process. Other mechanisms of cellular response to the damage such as apoptosis were analyzed. For this analysis, sections from the midguts were examined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. The nuclei of the midgut epithelial cells were stained at the highest concentration of the Vip3Ca protein and at lower concentrations of Vip3Aa in agreement with the different potency of the two proteins. In addition, apoptosis was also examined by the analysis of the expression of five caspase genes. The present study shows that exposure of S. exigua larvae to sublethal concentrations of Vip3 proteins activates different insect response pathways which trigger the regulation of some genes, APN shedding, and apoptotic cell death.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and lysozymes are the main effectors of the insect immune system, and they are involved in both local and systemic responses. Among local responses, midgut immune reaction plays an important role in fighting pathogens that reach the insect body through the oral route, as do many microorganisms used in pest control. Under this point of view, understanding how insects defend themselves locally during the first phases of infections caused by food-borne pathogens is important to further improve microbial control strategies. In the present study, we analyzed the transcriptional response of AMPs and lysozymes in the midgut of Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a polyphagous pest that is commonly controlled by products based on Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or baculovirus. First, we comprehensively characterized the transcripts encoding AMPs and lysozymes expressed in S. exigua larval midgut, identifying 35 transcripts that represent the S. exigua arsenal against microbial infection. Secondly, we analyzed their expression in the midgut after ingestion of sub-lethal doses of two different pore-forming B. thuringiensis toxins, Cry1Ca and Vip3Aa, and the S. exigua nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV). We observed that both Bt toxins triggered a similar, wide and in some cases high transcriptional activation of genes encoding AMPs and lysozymes, which was not reflected in the activation of the classical systemic immune-marker phenoloxidase in hemolymph. Baculovirus ingestion resulted in the opposed reaction: Almost all transcripts coding for AMPs and lysozymes were down-regulated or not induced 96 hours post infection. Our results shed light on midgut response to different virulence factors or pathogens used nowadays as microbial control agents and point out the importance of the midgut immune response contribution to the larval immunity.