Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining

Gruber, Christian W. and Muttenthaler, Markus (2012) Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining. PloS One, 7 3: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032559


Author Gruber, Christian W.
Muttenthaler, Markus
Title Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining
Journal name PloS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2012-03-20
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0032559
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue 3
Total pages 12
Place of publication San Francisco, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant), Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant) and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus). Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins) and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae) and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle) and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp), and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee), another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family) and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article number e32559

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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