Role of virus-like particles in parasitoid-host interaction of insects.


Insect endoparasitoids are capable of suppressing the immune reaction of their habitual hosts in a specific way. Salt (1968) characterized some of the implications: This seeming contradiction--that defence reactions against all kinds of foreign bodies are available to insects and that endophagous parasitoids are nevertheless able to develop in insect hosts--is resolved by recourse to one of the principles of host specificity. Although insects as a group react to every foreign body in the sense that any organism or substance evokes a reaction in most insects, each species of insect fails to make a reaction (or makes an ineffective reaction) to a small group of organisms, its habitual parasites. It is the common paradox of parasitology that defence reactions are least effective against the most noxious parasites, involving the tautology that the most noxious parasites are those against which defence reactions are least effective. Recently, VLP of hymenopteran wasps have been shown to play a crucial part in suppressing the cellular encapsulation reaction (Stoltz and Vinson, 1979a). In some parasitoid wasps, polydnavirus particles are involved in the phenotypic transformation of hemocytes, reducing the capability of the host to mount an immune reaction towards the parasitoid egg (Stoltz and Guzo, 1986; Davies et al., 1987). However, at least in Venturia, the eggs are effectively protected by VLP that lack significant amounts of nucleic acids, precluding any virus expression in the host. The question was raised whether VLP could have acquired properties of the host immune system, which allows specific suppression of the immune response. The finding of structural similarities between VLP proteins and a host component indicated that a host function is expressed in VLP (Feddersen et al., 1986) and this observation has subsequently permitted the identification and characterization of a protein in caterpillars, which appears to inhibit cellular defense reactions (Berg et al., 1987). On the basis of these results we continue to approach this parasitoid-host interaction, assuming that VLP have evolved in the host organism and eventually acquired the coding sequences of a host protein with properties of an inhibitor of encapsulation. Although there are several ways to explain the emergence of VLP in endophagous parasitoid wasps, a simple proposal would be that such hypothetical viruses, which were able to suppress immune reaction in lepidopteran hosts, were incorporated into a parasitoid wasp to become part of the life cycle of the parasitoid.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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@article{Schmidt1989RoleOV, title={Role of virus-like particles in parasitoid-host interaction of insects.}, author={Oliver G. Schmidt and I Schuchmann-Feddersen}, journal={Sub-cellular biochemistry}, year={1989}, volume={15}, pages={91-119} }