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Molecular and functional characterization of the insect hemolymph clot
Södertörn University, School of Life Sciences. Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för molekylärbiologi och funktionsgenomik.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

All metazoans possess an epithelial barrier that protects them from their environment and prevents loss off body fluid. Insects, which have an open circulatory system, depend on fast mechanism to seal wounds to avoid excessive loss of body fluids. As in vertebrates, and non-insect arthropods such as horseshoe crab and crustaceans, insects form a clot as the first response to tissue damage. Insect hemolymph coagulation has not been characterized extensively at the molecular level before, and the aim of my studies was to gain more knowledge on this topic. Morphological characterization of the Drosophila hemolymph clot showed that it resembles the clots previously described in other larger bodied insects, such as Galleria mellonella. The Drosophila clot is a fibrous network of cross-linked proteins and incorporated blood cells. The proteins building up the clot are soluble in the hemolymph or released from hemocytes upon activation. Since bacteria are caught in the clot matrix and thereby prevented from spreading it is likely that the clot serves as a first line of defense against microbial intruders. The bacteria are not killed by the clot. What actually kills the bacteria is not known at this point, although the phenoloxidase cascade does not seem to be of major importance since bacteria died in the absence of phenoloxidase. We identified and characterized a new clot protein which we named gp150 (Eig71Ee). Eig71Ee is an ecdysone-regulated mucin-like protein that is expressed in salivary glands, the perithophic membrane of the gut and in hemocytes, and can be labeled with the lectin peanut agglutinin (PNA). Eig71Ee was found to interact with another clot protein (Fondue), and the reaction was catalyzed by the enzyme transglutaminase. This is the first direct functional confirmation that transglutaminase acts in Drosophila coagulation. A protein fusion construct containing Fondue tagged with GFP was created. The fusion construct labeled the cuticle and the clot, and will be a valuable tool in future studies. Functional characterization of the previously identified clotting factor Hemolectin (Hml) revealed redundancy in the clotting mechanism. Loss of Hml had strong effects on larval hemolymph clotting ex vivo, but only minor effects, such as larges scabs, in vivo when larvae were wounded. An immunological role of Hml was demonstrated only after sensitizing the genetic background of Hml mutant flies confirming the difficulty of studying such processes in a living system. Hemolectin was previously considered to contain C-type lectin domains. We reassessed the domain structure and did not find any Ctype lectin domains; instead we found two discoidin domains which we propose are responsible for the protein’s lectin activity. We also showed that lepidopterans, such as Galleria mellonella and Ephestia kuehniella, use silk proteins to form clots. This finding suggests that the formation of a clot matrix evolved in insects by the co-option of proteins already participated in the formation of extracellular formations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholms universitet , 2008. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
Innate immunity, hemolymph coagulation, transglutaminase
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31269ISBN: 978-91-7155-563-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-31269DiVA: diva2:1051299
Public defence
2008-02-15, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-12-01 Created: 2016-12-01 Last updated: 2016-12-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Hemolymph coagulation and phenoloxidase in Drosophila larvae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hemolymph coagulation and phenoloxidase in Drosophila larvae
2005 (English)In: Developmental and Comparative Immunology, ISSN 0145-305X, E-ISSN 1879-0089, Vol. 29, no 8, 669-679 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hemolymph coagulation is a first response to wounding in insects. Although studies have been performed in large-bodied insects such as the moth Galleria mellonella, less is known about clotting in Drosophila melanogaster, the insect most useful for genetic and molecular analyses of innate immunity. Here we show the similarities between clots in Drosophila and Galleria by light- and electron microscopy. Phenoloxidase changes the Drosophila clot's physical properties through cross-linking and melanization, but it is not necessary for preliminary soft clot formation. Bacteria associate with the clot, but this alone does not necessarily kill them. The stage is now set for rapid advances in our understanding of insect hemolymph coagulation, its roles in immune defense and wound healing, and for a more comprehensive grasp of the insect immune system in general.

National Category
Immunology Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-14400 (URN)10.1016/j.dci.2004.11.007 (DOI)000229159200001 ()15854679 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-18044376633 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2011-12-21 Created: 2011-12-21 Last updated: 2016-12-01Bibliographically approved
2. A Drosophila salivary gland mucin is also expressed in immune tissues: evidence for a function in coagulation and the entrapment of bacteria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Drosophila salivary gland mucin is also expressed in immune tissues: evidence for a function in coagulation and the entrapment of bacteria
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2004 (English)In: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ISSN 0965-1748, E-ISSN 1879-0240, Vol. 34, no 12, 1297-1304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our studies on the developmental regulation of glycosylation in Drosophila melanogaster led us to identify and characterize gp 150, an ecdysone-regulated mucin that is found in hemocytes, the gut (peritrophic membrane) and in the salivary glands. We are particularly interested in mucin immune functions and found that gp 150 is released from larval hemocytes, becomes part of the clot and participates in the entrapment of bacteria. By RT-PCR and RNAi experiments, we identified gp 150 as the previously described 171-7, an ecdysone-induced salivary glue protein. We discuss the evolutionary and biochemical implications of the dual use of salivary proteins for immune functions in insects. Further molecular characterization of such shared proteins may enable a better understanding of the properties of proteins involved in containment and elimination of microbes, as well as hemostasis and wound repair.

National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-15456 (URN)10.1016/j.ibmb.2004.09.001 (DOI)000225515000007 ()15544943 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-8644286464 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2012-02-21 Created: 2012-02-20 Last updated: 2016-12-01Bibliographically approved
3. Evidence for an immune function of lepidopteran silk proteins
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evidence for an immune function of lepidopteran silk proteins
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2007 (English)In: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications - BBRC, ISSN 0006-291X, E-ISSN 1090-2104, Vol. 352, no 2, 317-322 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hemolymph coagulation stops bleeding and protects against infection. Clotting factors include both proteins that are conserved during evolution as well as more divergent proteins in different species. Here we show that several silk proteins also appear in the clot of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella. RT-PCR analysis reveals that silk proteins are expressed in immune tissues and induced upon wounding in both Galleria and Ephestia kuehniella, a second pyralid moth. Our results support the idea that silk proteins were co-opted for immunity and coagulation during evolution.

National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Biophysics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-14243 (URN)10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.11.022 (DOI)000243196300007 ()17126296 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-33845221093 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2016-12-01Bibliographically approved
4. A role for Hemolectin in coagulation and immunity in Drosophila melanogaster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A role for Hemolectin in coagulation and immunity in Drosophila melanogaster
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2007 (English)In: Developmental and Comparative Immunology, ISSN 0145-305X, E-ISSN 1879-0089, Vol. 31, no 12, 1255-1263 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hemolectin has been identified as a candidate clotting factor in Drosophila. We reassessed the domain structure of Hemolectin (Hml) and propose that instead of C-type lectin domains, the two discoidin domains are most likely responsible for the protein's lectin activity. We also tested Hml's role in coagulation and immunity in Drosophila. Here we describe the isolation of a new hml allele in a forward screen for coagulation mutants, and our characterization of this and two other hml alleles, one of which is a functional null. While loss of Hml had strong effects on larval hemolymph coagulation ex vivo, mutant larvae survived wounding. Drosophila thus possesses redundant hemostatic mechanisms. We also found that loss of Hml in immune-handicapped adults rendered them more sensitive to Gram(-) bacteria infection. This demonstrates an immunological role of this clotting protein and reinforces the importance of the clot in insect immunity.

National Category
Immunology Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-14250 (URN)10.1016/j.dci.2007.03.012 (DOI)000251491900008 ()17509683 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-35748967867 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2016-12-01Bibliographically approved
5. Fondue and transglutaminase in the Drosophila larval clot
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fondue and transglutaminase in the Drosophila larval clot
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2008 (English)In: Journal of insect physiology, ISSN 0022-1910, E-ISSN 1879-1611, Vol. 54, no 3, 586-592 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hemolymph coagulation is vital for larval hemostasis and important in immunity, yet the molecular basis of coagulation is not well understood in insects. Of the larval clotting factors identified in Drosophila, Fondue is not conserved in other insects, but is notable for its effects on the clot's physical properties.. a possible function in the cuticle, and for being a substrate of transglutaminase. Transglutaminase is the only mammalian clotting factor found in Drosophila, and as it acts in coagulation in other invertebrates, it is also likely to be important in clotting in Drosophila. Here we describe a Fondue-GFP fusion construct that labels the cuticle and clot, and show that chemical inhibition and RNAi knockdown of the Drosophila transglutaminase gene affect clot properties and composition in ways similar to knockdown of the fon gene. Thus, Fondue appears to be incorporated into the cuticle and is a key transglutaminase substrate in the clot. This is also the first direct functional confirmation that transglutaminase acts in coagulation in Drosophila.

National Category
Zoology Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-14163 (URN)10.1016/j.jinsphys.2007.12.008 (DOI)000255292900007 ()2-s2.0-40849116385 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2011-12-18 Created: 2011-12-16 Last updated: 2016-12-01Bibliographically approved

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