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Toxins 2012, 4(2), 55-67; doi:10.3390/toxins4020055
Review

Plant Ureases and Related Peptides: Understanding Their Entomotoxic Properties

1,*  and 2
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 1 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insecticidal Toxins)
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Abstract

Recently, ureases were included in the arsenal of plant defense proteins, alongside many other proteins with biotechnological potential such as insecticides. Isoforms of Canavalia ensiformis urease (canatoxin—CNTX and jack bean urease—JBURE-I) are toxic to insects of different orders. This toxicity is due in part to the release of a 10 kDa peptide from the native protein, by cathepsin-like enzymes present in the insect digestive tract. The entomotoxic peptide, Jaburetox-2Ec, exhibits potent insecticidal activity against several insects, including many resistant to the native ureases. JBURE-I and Jaburetox-2Ec cause major alterations of post-feeding physiological processes in insects, which contribute to, or can be the cause of, their entomotoxic effect. An overview of the current knowledge on plant urease processing and mechanisms of action in insects is presented in this review.
Keywords: plant defense; urease; Jaburetox-2Ec; Malpighian tubules; midgut; fluid secretion plant defense; urease; Jaburetox-2Ec; Malpighian tubules; midgut; fluid secretion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Stanisçuaski, F.; Carlini, C.R. Plant Ureases and Related Peptides: Understanding Their Entomotoxic Properties. Toxins 2012, 4, 55-67.

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