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Developmental regulation and antifungal activity of a growth-blocking peptide from the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua.
Wan H, Lee KS, Kim BY, Yuan M, Zhan S, Lu Y, You H, Li J, Jin BR.
Dev Comp Immunol. 2013, 41, 240-7. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2013.05.016. Epub 2013 May 31.

Insect cytokine growth-blocking peptides (GBPs) are involved in growth regulation and the innate immune response. However, the microbial binding and antimicrobial activities of GBPs remain unclear. Here, we investigate the developmental role and antifungal activity of a GBP from the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua (SeGBP). Sequence analysis predicted that mature SeGBP consists of 24 amino acid residues, including 2 cysteine residues. During S. exigua development, SeGBP is constitutively expressed in the fat body during the larval and adult stages but not in pupae. SeGBP expression is up-regulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone and down-regulated by juvenile hormone analog. Recombinant SeGBP purified from baculovirus-infected insect cells retards the growth of S. exigua larvae. Additionally, SeGBP expression is acutely induced in the fat body after injection with Escherichia coli, Bacillus thuringiensis, or Beauveria bassiana. Recombinant SeGBP can bind to B. bassiana but not to E. coli or B. thuringiensis. Consistent with these findings, SeGBP shows antifungal activity against B. bassiana. Therefore, these results provide insight into the role of SeGBP during the innate immune response following microbial infection, and furthermore, they suggest a novel function for SeGBP as a direct antifungal agent against entomopathogenic fungi, such as B. bassiana.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.