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Gene silencing through RNA interference (RNAi) has revolutionized the study of gene function, particularly in non-model insects. However, in Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) RNAi has many times proven to be difficult to achieve. Most of the negative results have been anecdotal and the positive experiments have not been collected in such a way that they(More)
The innate immune response of insects includes induced expression of genes encoding a variety of antimicrobial peptides. The signaling pathways that stimulate this gene expression have been well characterized by genetic analysis in Drosophila melanogaster, but are not well understood in most other insect species. One such pathway involves proteolytic(More)
Serine proteinases in insect plasma have been implicated in two types of immune responses; that is, activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO) and activation of cytokine-like proteins. We have identified more than 20 serine proteinases in hemolymph of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, but functions are known for only a few of them. We report here functions(More)
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(More)
The innate immune system of insects include the Toll pathway, which is mediated by an extracellular serine proteinase cascade. In the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, hemolymph proteinase 8 (HP8) promotes the synthesis of antimicrobial proteins by cleaving proSpätzle, the putative ligand of M. sexta Toll. HP8 has been observed to form a complex in hemolymph(More)
Melanization is an innate immune response in arthropods that encapsulates and kills invading pathogens. One of its rate-limiting steps is the activation of prophenoloxidase (PPO), which is controlled by an extracellular proteinase cascade and serpin inhibitors. The molecular composition of this system is largely unknown in mosquitoes with the exception of(More)
Serine protease cascade-mediated prophenolxidase activation is a prominent innate immune response in insect defense against the invading pathogens. Serpins regulate this reaction to avoid excessive activation. However, the function of serpins in most insect species, especially in some non-model agriculture insect pests, is largely unknown. We here cloned a(More)
BACKGROUND The Asian corn borer (Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée)) is one of the most serious corn pests in Asia. Control of this pest with entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana has been proposed. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between O. furnacalis and B. bassiana are unclear, especially under the conditions that the(More)
Insect immune responses include prophenoloxidase (proPO) activation and Toll pathway initiation, which are mediated by serine proteinase cascades and regulated by serpins. Manduca sexta hemolymph proteinase-6 (HP6) is a component of both pathways. It cleaves and activates proPO activating proteinase 1 (PAP1) and hemolymph proteinase-8 (HP8), which activates(More)
Antimicrobial peptides/proteins (AMPs) are a group of immune proteins that exhibit strong antibiotic properties against numerous infectious bacterial strains. They are evolutionarily conserved and present in every kingdom and phylum, ranging from prokaryotes to humans. We analyzed the transciptome from the larvae of Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis(More)