Expression and evolution of hexamerins from the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, and other Lepidoptera.
- Thorsten Burmester
- Insect biochemistry and molecular biology
An inducible hemolysin with antibacterial properties was isolated from the hemolymph of immune Galleria mellonella larvae. The Galleria-derived lysin, named Gallysin-1, was shown to have an apparent molecular weight of 75,000 and to be relatively heat stable at 56 degrees C. Although Gallysin alone was not bactericidal it caused sufficient damage of the outer cell membranes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa RP4 and Escherichia coli K176 to release beta-lactamase from the periplasm. In the presence of either purified Galleria lysozyme or egg white lysozyme Gallysin-1 had potent antibacterial activity against gram-negative bacteria. Gallysin-1 killed osmotically shocked P. aeruginosa and E. coli that suggests that it can also attack exposed inner cell membranes of gram-negative bacteria. The identification of Gallysin-1 recognizes another distinct member of the bactericidins involved in insect immunity.