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Protein content of the Hylesia metabus egg nest setae (Cramer [1775]) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) and its association with the parental investment for the reproductive success and lepidopterism.

Résumé : Hylesia metabus is a neotropical moth possessing toxic setae, which once in contact with the skin cause a severe dermatitis to humans known as lepidopterism. The only known function of the setae in the life cycle is to provide protection during the mating and egg-hatching stages. Approximately 65% of the protein content of the setae is a cluster of five proteases (28-45kDa) showing sequence homology to other S1A serine proteases. The N-glycans of a 40kDa protease are a mixture of neutral and sulfated G0F structures. The sulfated N-glycans have an important role in triggering the inflammatory response typical of lepidopterism while the proteolytic activity may promote the erosion of blood vessels and tissues causing focal hemorrhages. The presence of Chitinase and a 30kDa lipoprotein is probably related to the antifungal defense. In addition, chitin digestion of the setae may potentiate the inflammatory reaction caused by the toxins due to the formation of chitin adjuvants fragments. The combined effect of proteases and a chitinase may dissuade predating arthropods, by damaging their exoskeletons. Vitellogenin, a bacteriostatic protein, is able to recognize pathogen-associated patterns, which suggests its possible role in protecting the embryonated eggs from pathogenic microorganisms. The present study is the first report describing the different protein species present in the urticating egg nest setae of the neotropical moth Hylesia metabus - the most harmful of the Hylesia moths - causing a severe urticating dermatitis in humans known as lepidopterism. A distinctive feature of the venom is the presence of five different S1A serine proteases probably used to guarantee a more efficient degradation of a wider number of protein substrates. This work confirms that the presence of sulfated N-glycans is not an isolated finding since its presence has been demonstrated in two different proteases affirming that this PTM is of importance for the activation of the inflammatory response typical of lepidopterism. Additionally, this study gives useful information on the defense mechanisms used for protection of its progeny vs. vertebrate predators, fungus, bacteria or other arthropods such as ants. The proteins detected in the egg nest should be seen as an extended parental effort made by the females in order to achieve an optimal reproductive success, thus compensating for the considerable loss of progeny during the larval stages that seriously limits the number of sexually mature adults reaching the reproductive phase.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 7:08:05 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 16, 2021 - 1:46:05 PM




Gleysin Cabrera, Ulf Lundberg, Arielis Rodríguez-Ulloa, Melfran Herrera, Wendy Machado, et al.. Protein content of the Hylesia metabus egg nest setae (Cramer [1775]) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) and its association with the parental investment for the reproductive success and lepidopterism.. Journal of Proteomics, 2017, 150, pp.183-200. ⟨10.1016/j.jprot.2016.08.010⟩. ⟨pasteur-01498326⟩



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