Roles of haemolymph proteins in antimicrobial defences of <i>Manduca sexta</i>

Emily J. Ragan, Chunju An, Haobo Jiang and Michael R. Kanost

in Insect Infection and Immunity

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199551354
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720505 | DOI:
Roles of haemolymph proteins in antimicrobial defences of Manduca sexta

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This chapter discusses recent advances in our understanding of plasma proteins in the immune responses of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. It focuses on microbial pattern recognition proteins, and the complex interplay between proteinases, inactive homologues of proteinases, and proteinase inhibitors, all of which collaborate to regulate the proteolytic conversion of prophenoloxidase (proPO) to its active form, phenoloxidase (PO). It is becoming clearer that the proPO system is among the most rapidly deployed immune defences in insects. Its value to the host is shown by the fact that pathogens and parasites are frequently distinguished by the presence of anti-PO counter-adaptations. It is also especially interesting that vertebrate animals do not have a homologue of this system. The reason for this remains unknown.

Keywords: plasma proteins; immune response; tobacco hornworm; insect immunity; prophenoloxidase; phenoloxidase

Chapter.  9397 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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