Insect immune defences rely on cellular and humoral responses targeting both microbial pathogens and metazoan parasites. Accumulating evidence indicates functional cross-talk between these two branches of insect immunity, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown. We recently described, in the tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens, the presence of amyloid fibers associated with melanogenesis in immune capsules formed by hemocytes, and identified a protein (P102) involved in their assembly. Non-self objects coated by antibodies directed against this protein escaped hemocyte encapsulation, suggesting that P102 might coordinate humoral and cellular defence responses at the sur- face of foreign invaders. Here we report the identification of a cDNA coding for a protein highly similar to P102 in a related Lepidoptera species, Spodoptera littoralis. Its transcript was abundant in the hemocytes and the protein accumulated in large cytoplasmic compartments, closely resembling the localization pat- tern of P102 in H. virescens. RNAi-mediated gene silencing provided direct evidence for the role played by this protein in the immune response. Oral delivery of dsRNA molecules directed against the gene strongly suppressed the encapsulation and melanization response, while hemocoelic injections did not result in evident phenotypic alterations. Shortly after their administration, dsRNA molecules were found in mid- gut cells, en route to the hemocytes where the target gene was significantly down-regulated. Taken together, our data demonstrate that P102 is a functionally conserved protein with a key role in insect immunity. Moreover, the ability to target this gene by dsRNA oral delivery may be exploited to develop novel technologies of pest control, based on immunosuppression as a strategy for enhancing the impact of natural antagonists.

Functional analysis of an immune gene of Spodoptera littoralis by RNAi / DI LELIO, Ilaria; Varricchio, Paola; DI PRISCO, Gennaro; Marinelli, Adriana; Lasco, Valentina; Caccia, Silvia; Casartelli, Morena; Giordana, Barbara; Rao, Rosa; Gigliotti, Silvia; Pennacchio, Francesco. - In: JOURNAL OF INSECT PHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-1910. - 64:(2014), pp. 90-97. [10.1016/j.jinsphys.2014.03.008]

Functional analysis of an immune gene of Spodoptera littoralis by RNAi

Ilaria Di Lelio;VARRICCHIO, PAOLA;DI PRISCO, GENNARO;MARINELLI, ADRIANA;CACCIA, SILVIA;RAO, ROSA;PENNACCHIO, FRANCESCO
2014

Abstract

Insect immune defences rely on cellular and humoral responses targeting both microbial pathogens and metazoan parasites. Accumulating evidence indicates functional cross-talk between these two branches of insect immunity, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown. We recently described, in the tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens, the presence of amyloid fibers associated with melanogenesis in immune capsules formed by hemocytes, and identified a protein (P102) involved in their assembly. Non-self objects coated by antibodies directed against this protein escaped hemocyte encapsulation, suggesting that P102 might coordinate humoral and cellular defence responses at the sur- face of foreign invaders. Here we report the identification of a cDNA coding for a protein highly similar to P102 in a related Lepidoptera species, Spodoptera littoralis. Its transcript was abundant in the hemocytes and the protein accumulated in large cytoplasmic compartments, closely resembling the localization pat- tern of P102 in H. virescens. RNAi-mediated gene silencing provided direct evidence for the role played by this protein in the immune response. Oral delivery of dsRNA molecules directed against the gene strongly suppressed the encapsulation and melanization response, while hemocoelic injections did not result in evident phenotypic alterations. Shortly after their administration, dsRNA molecules were found in mid- gut cells, en route to the hemocytes where the target gene was significantly down-regulated. Taken together, our data demonstrate that P102 is a functionally conserved protein with a key role in insect immunity. Moreover, the ability to target this gene by dsRNA oral delivery may be exploited to develop novel technologies of pest control, based on immunosuppression as a strategy for enhancing the impact of natural antagonists.
2014
Functional analysis of an immune gene of Spodoptera littoralis by RNAi / DI LELIO, Ilaria; Varricchio, Paola; DI PRISCO, Gennaro; Marinelli, Adriana; Lasco, Valentina; Caccia, Silvia; Casartelli, Morena; Giordana, Barbara; Rao, Rosa; Gigliotti, Silvia; Pennacchio, Francesco. - In: JOURNAL OF INSECT PHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 0022-1910. - 64:(2014), pp. 90-97. [10.1016/j.jinsphys.2014.03.008]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/586931
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