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Isolation and identification of a plasmatocyte-spreading peptide from the hemolymph of the lepidopteran insect Pseudoplusia includens

Clark, K.D.; Pech, L.L.; Strand, M.R.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 272(37): 23440-23447

1997


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 9287360
Accession: 008925777

Insect blood cells (hemocytes) play an essential role in defense against parasites and other pathogenic organisms that infect insects. A key class of hemocytes involved in insect cellular immunity is plasmatocytes. Here we describe the isolation and identification of a peptide from the moth Pseudoplusia includens that mediates the spreading of plasmatocytes to foreign surfaces. This peptide, designated plasmatocyte-spreading peptide (PSP1), contains 23 amino acid residues in the following sequence: H-ENFNGGCLAGYMRTADGRCKPTF-OH. In vitro assays using the synthetic peptide at concentrations gtoreq 2 nM induced plasmatocytes from P. includens to spread on the surface of culture dishes. Injection of this peptide into P. includens larvae caused a transient depletion of plasmatocytes from circulation. Labeling studies indicated that this peptide induced 75% of plasmatocytes that were double-labeled by the monoclonal antibodies 49G3A3 and 43E9A8 to spread, whereas plasma induced significantly more plasmatocytes to spread. This suggests that only a certain subpopulation of plasmatocytes responds to the peptide and that other peptidyl factors mediate plasmatocyte adhesion responses.

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