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Toxins 2010, 2(5), 935-953; doi:10.3390/toxins2050935

Proteases as Insecticidal Agents

1
Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Plant Sciences Institute, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA
2
Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, 418 Science II, Ames, IA 50011-3222, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 April 2010 / Revised: 26 April 2010 / Accepted: 30 April 2010 / Published: 5 May 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Toxins as Proteases)
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Abstract

Proteases from a variety of sources (viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants, and insects) have toxicity towards insects. Some of these insecticidal proteases evolved as venom components, herbivore resistance factors, or microbial pathogenicity factors, while other proteases play roles in insect development or digestion, but exert an insecticidal effect when over-expressed from genetically engineered plants or microbial pathogens. Many of these proteases are cysteine proteases, although insect-toxic metalloproteases and serine proteases have also been examined. The sites of protease toxic activity range from the insect midgut to the hemocoel (body cavity) to the cuticle. This review discusses these insecticidal proteases along with their evaluation and use as potential pesticides.
Keywords: insecticides; basement membrane; cuticle; peritrophic matrix; plant defense; microbial defense insecticides; basement membrane; cuticle; peritrophic matrix; plant defense; microbial defense
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Harrison, R.L.; Bonning, B.C. Proteases as Insecticidal Agents. Toxins 2010, 2, 935-953.

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