Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
An Insight into the Triabin Protein Family of American Hematophagous Reduviids: Functional, Structural and Phylogenetic Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
Acetylated Deoxynivalenol Generates Differences of Gene Expression that Discriminate Trichothecene Toxicity
Previous Article in Special Issue
Differential Properties of Venom Peptides and Proteins in Solitary vs. Social Hunting Wasps
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Toxins 2016, 8(2), 43; doi:10.3390/toxins8020043

Venoms of Heteropteran Insects: A Treasure Trove of Diverse Pharmacological Toolkits

1
Institute for Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
2
Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
3
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 25 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 12 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Venoms)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2807 KB, uploaded 19 February 2016]   |  

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: venom; toxin; predation; haematophagy; paralysis; liquefaction; venomics; venom discovery; Heteroptera; true bugs venom; toxin; predation; haematophagy; paralysis; liquefaction; venomics; venom discovery; Heteroptera; true bugs
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. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Walker, A.A.; Weirauch, C.; Fry, B.G.; King, G.F. Venoms of Heteropteran Insects: A Treasure Trove of Diverse Pharmacological Toolkits. Toxins 2016, 8, 43.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top