Human plasma contains a superfamily of serine proteinase inhibitors, the serpins, which are glycoproteins of Mr = 40,000- 60,000. Members of the serpin family participate in regulation of blood clotting, the complement system, and they protect tissues from proteinases released by blood cells. Deficiencies or mutations of serpins in humans leads to several hereditary diseases. We have identified a protein in the hemolymph of an insect, the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, which is a member of the serpin family of proteinase inhibitors and have determined its amino acid sequence from the sequence of its clones cDNA.
Specific aims of this proposal are 1) purification and characterization of serpins from insect hemolymph; 2) isolation and sequencing of cDNA clones for members of the serpin gene family from M. sexta and from Drosophila melanogaster; 3) isolation and sequencing of serpin genes from M. sexta and Drosophila melanogaster; 4) identification of physiological functions of insect serpins; 5) study of the hormonal regulation of insect serpin gene expression. The study of insect serpins may yield valuable basic information as a non- vertebrate model for serpin biochemistry and molecular biology, and it may provide targets for novel methods of insect control. Furthermore, the study of insect serpin genes will generate new information on regulation of insect genes during development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
First Independent Research Support & Transition (FIRST) Awards (R29)
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Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Study Section (TMP)
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Kansas State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Cao, Xiaolong; Jiang, Haobo (2015) Integrated modeling of protein-coding genes in the Manduca sexta genome using RNA-Seq data from the biochemical model insect. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:2-10
Cao, Xiaolong; He, Yan; Hu, Yingxia et al. (2015) Sequence conservation, phylogenetic relationships, and expression profiles of nondigestive serine proteases and serine protease homologs in Manduca sexta. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:51-63
Takahashi, Daisuke; Garcia, Brandon L; Kanost, Michael R (2015) Initiating protease with modular domains interacts with ?-glucan recognition protein to trigger innate immune response in insects. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:13856-61
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He, Yan; Cao, Xiaolong; Li, Kai et al. (2015) A genome-wide analysis of antimicrobial effector genes and their transcription patterns in Manduca sexta. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:23-37
Zhang, Xiufeng; He, Yan; Cao, Xiaolong et al. (2015) Phylogenetic analysis and expression profiling of the pattern recognition receptors: Insights into molecular recognition of invading pathogens in Manduca sexta. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:38-50
Zhang, Xiufeng; Zheng, Yun; Cao, Xiaolong et al. (2015) Identification and profiling of Manduca sexta microRNAs and their possible roles in regulating specific transcripts in fat body, hemocytes, and midgut. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:11-22
Tetreau, Guillaume; Cao, Xiaolong; Chen, Yun-Ru et al. (2015) Overview of chitin metabolism enzymes in Manduca sexta: Identification, domain organization, phylogenetic analysis and gene expression. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:114-26
Li, Zhaofei; Blissard, Gary (2015) The vacuolar protein sorting genes in insects: A comparative genome view. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:211-25
Tetreau, Guillaume; Dittmer, Neal T; Cao, Xiaolong et al. (2015) Analysis of chitin-binding proteins from Manduca sexta provides new insights into evolution of peritrophin A-type chitin-binding domains in insects. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 62:127-41

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