Celia R. R. S. Carlini

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To meet the demands for food of the expanding world population, there is need of new ways for protecting plant crops against predators and pathogens while avoiding the use of environmentally aggressive chemicals. A milestone in this field was the introduction into crop plants of genes expressing Bacillus thuringiensis entomotoxic proteins. In spite of the(More)
Ureases (EC 3.5.1.5) are nickel-dependent metalloenzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. Produced by plants, fungi and bacteria, but not by animals, ureases share significant homology and similar mechanisms of catalysis, although differing in quaternary structures. While fungal and plant ureases are homo-oligomeric(More)
Canatoxin is a toxic protein isolated from the jackbean, Canavalia ensiformis. The toxin injected intraperitoneally is lethal for mice and rats; however, it is inactive if given orally. In this study, Manduca sexta (L.) (Lepidoptera), Schistocerca americana (Drury) (Orthoptera), Drosophila melanogaster (L.) (Diptera), Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera), Rhodnius(More)
Canatoxin (CNTX) is a variant form of urease isolated from Canavalia ensiformis (Leguminosaea) seeds. A possible role in the plant defense was proposed for CNTX, due to its toxicity upon feeding to the beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, and the hematophagous bug, Rhodnius prolixus. The toxic effect is caused by a canatoxin-derived peptide ( approximately(More)
Canatoxin, a urease isoform from Canavalia ensiformis seeds, shows insecticidal activity against different insect species. Its toxicity relies on an internal 10 kDa peptide (pepcanatox), released by hydrolysis of Canatoxin by cathepsins in the digestive system of susceptible insects. In the present work, based on the N-terminal sequence of pepcanatox, we(More)
Aquaporins (AQPs) are water channels responsible for transport of water and, in some cases, transport of small solutes such as urea and glycerol across lipid bilayer membranes. Hematophagous insects, such as Rhodnius prolixus, ingest large volumes of fluid and must rapidly eliminate the excess of water and salts from the blood meal within the gut. In order(More)
According to the World Bank and FAO, the population grows worldwide and the poorest countries are expected to double their population within the next decades, reaching approximately 7.2 billion in 2015. Moreover, the food and financial crisis together with the global economic recession pushed the number of hungry and undernourished people in the world to(More)
The occurrence of venom in mammals has long been considered of minor importance, but recent fossil discoveries and advances in experimental techniques have cast new light into this subject. Mammalian venoms form a heterogeneous group having different compositions and modes of action and are present in three classes of mammals, Insectivora, Monotremata, and(More)
Ureases are metalloenzymes that hydrolyze urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide. They were the first enzymes to be crystallized and, with them, the notion that enzymes are proteins became accepted. Novel toxic properties of ureases that are independent of their enzyme activity have been discovered in the last three decades. Since our first description of the(More)