29 research outputs found

    Pancreatic surgery outcomes: multicentre prospective snapshot study in 67 countries

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    A lepidopteran-specific gene family encoding valine-rich midgut proteins

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    Citation: Odman-Naresh J, Duevel M, Muthukrishnan S, Merzendorfer H (2013) A Lepidopteran-Specific Gene Family Encoding Valine-Rich Midgut Proteins . PLOS ONE 8(11): e82015. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0082015Many lepidopteran larvae are serious agricultural pests due to their feeding activity. Digestion of the plant diet occurs mainly in the midgut and is facilitated by the peritrophic matrix (PM), an extracellular sac-like structure, which lines the midgut epithelium and creates different digestive compartments. The PM is attracting increasing attention to control lepidopteran pests by interfering with this vital function. To identify novel PM components and thus potential targets for insecticides, we performed an immunoscreening with anti-PM antibodies using an expression library representing the larval midgut transcriptome of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. We identified three cDNAs encoding valine-rich midgut proteins of M. sexta (MsVmps), which appear to be loosely associated with the PM. They are members of a lepidopteran-specific family of nine VMP genes, which are exclusively expressed in larval stages in M. sexta. Most of the MsVMP transcripts are detected in the posterior midgut, with the highest levels observed for MsVMP1. To obtain further insight into Vmp function, we expressed MsVMP1 in insect cells and purified the recombinant protein. Lectin staining and glycosidase treatment indicated that MsVmp1 is highly O-glycosylated. In line with results from qPCR, immunoblots revealed that MsVmp1 amounts are highest in feeding larvae, while MsVmp1 is undetectable in starving and molting larvae. Finally using immunocytochemistry, we demonstrated that MsVmp1 localizes to the cytosol of columnar cells, which secrete MsVmp1 into the ectoperitrophic space in feeding larvae. In starving and molting larvae, MsVmp1 is found in the gut lumen, suggesting that the PM has increased its permeability. The present study demonstrates that lepidopteran species including many agricultural pests have evolved a set of unique proteins that are not found in any other taxon and thus may reflect an important adaptation in the highly specialized lepidopteran digestive tract facing particular immune challenges

    A Potential Role for Drosophila Mucins in Development and Physiology

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    Vital vertebrate organs are protected from the external environment by a barrier that to a large extent consists of mucins. These proteins are characterized by poorly conserved repeated sequences that are rich in prolines and potentially glycosylated threonines and serines (PTS). We have now used the characteristics of the PTS repeat domain to identify Drosophila mucins in a simple bioinformatics approach. Searching the predicted protein database for proteins with at least 4 repeats and a high ST content, more than 30 mucin-like proteins were identified, ranging from 300–23000 amino acids in length. We find that Drosophila mucins are present at all stages of the fly life cycle, and that their transcripts localize to selective organs analogous to sites of vertebrate mucin expression. The results could allow for addressing basic questions about human mucin-related diseases in this model system. Additionally, many of the mucins are expressed in selective tissues during embryogenesis, thus revealing new potential functions for mucins as apical matrix components during organ morphogenesis

    A Novel Ecdysone Receptor Mediates Steroid-Regulated Developmental Events during the Mid-Third Instar of Drosophila

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    The larval salivary gland of Drosophila melanogaster synthesizes and secretes glue glycoproteins that cement developing animals to a solid surface during metamorphosis. The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) is an essential signaling molecule that modulates most of the physiological functions of the larval gland. At the end of larval development, it is known that 20E—signaling through a nuclear receptor heterodimer consisting of EcR and USP—induces the early and late puffing cascade of the polytene chromosomes and causes the exocytosis of stored glue granules into the lumen of the gland. It has also been reported that an earlier pulse of hormone induces the temporally and spatially specific transcriptional activation of the glue genes; however, the receptor responsible for triggering this response has not been characterized. Here we show that the coordinated expression of the glue genes midway through the third instar is mediated by 20E acting to induce genes of the Broad Complex (BRC) through a receptor that is not an EcR/USP heterodimer. This result is novel because it demonstrates for the first time that at least some 20E-mediated, mid-larval, developmental responses are controlled by an uncharacterized receptor that does not contain an RXR-like component