Venoms of heteropteran insects: a treasure trove of diverse pharmacological toolkits

Walker, Andrew A., Weirauch, Christiane, Fry, Bryan G. and King, Glenn F. (2016) Venoms of heteropteran insects: a treasure trove of diverse pharmacological toolkits. Toxins, 8 2: . doi:10.3390/toxins8020043


Author Walker, Andrew A.
Weirauch, Christiane
Fry, Bryan G.
King, Glenn F.
Title Venoms of heteropteran insects: a treasure trove of diverse pharmacological toolkits
Journal name Toxins   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2072-6651
Publication date 2016-02-12
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.3390/toxins8020043
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 2
Total pages 32
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher MDPI
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The piercing-sucking mouthparts of the true bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera) have allowed diversification from a plant-feeding ancestor into a wide range of trophic strategies that include predation and blood-feeding. Crucial to the success of each of these strategies is the injection of venom. Here we review the current state of knowledge with regard to heteropteran venoms. Predaceous species produce venoms that induce rapid paralysis and liquefaction. These venoms are powerfully insecticidal, and may cause paralysis or death when injected into vertebrates. Disulfide-rich peptides, bioactive phospholipids, small molecules such as N,N-dimethylaniline and 1,2,5-trithiepane, and toxic enzymes such as phospholipase A2, have been reported in predatory venoms. However, the detailed composition and molecular targets of predatory venoms are largely unknown. In contrast, recent research into blood-feeding heteropterans has revealed the structure and function of many protein and non-protein components that facilitate acquisition of blood meals. Blood-feeding venoms lack paralytic or liquefying activity but instead are cocktails of pharmacological modulators that disable the host haemostatic systems simultaneously at multiple points. The multiple ways venom is used by heteropterans suggests that further study will reveal heteropteran venom components with a wide range of bioactivities that may be recruited for use as bioinsecticides, human therapeutics, and pharmacological tools.
Keyword Venom
Toxin
Predation
Haematophagy
Paralysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 02 Mar 2016, 00:09:25 EST by Susan Allen on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience