Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Action on the Surface: Entomopathogenic Fungi versus the Insect Cuticle
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Immune Signaling and Antimicrobial Peptide Expression in Lepidoptera
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Insects 2013, 4(3), 339-356; doi:10.3390/insects4030339

Hirsutellin A: A Paradigmatic Example of the Insecticidal Function of Fungal Ribotoxins

Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular I, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Present address: Departamento de Estructura de Macromoléculas, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, (CSIC) 28049 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 24 June 2013 / Published: 9 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Pathology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1409 KB, uploaded 9 July 2013]   |  

Abstract

The fungal pathogen Hirsutella thompsonii produces an insecticidal protein named hirsutellin A (HtA), which has been described to be toxic to several species of mites, insect larvae, and cells. On the other hand, on the basis of an extensive biochemical and structural characterization, HtA has been considered to be a member of the ribotoxins family. Ribotoxins are fungal extracellular ribonucleases, which inactivate ribosomes by specifically cleaving a single phosphodiester bond located at the large rRNA. Although ribotoxins were brought to light in the 1960s as antitumor agents, their biological function has remained elusive. Thus, the consideration of hirsutellin A, an insecticidal protein, as a singular ribotoxin recalled the idea of the biological activity of these toxins as insecticidal agents. Further studies have demonstrated that the most representative member of the ribotoxin family, α-sarcin, also shows strong toxic action against insect cells. The determination of high resolution structures, the characterization of a large number of mutants, and the toxicity assays against different cell lines have been the tools used for the study of the mechanism of action of ribotoxins at the molecular level. The aim of this review is to serve as a compilation of the facts that allow identification of HtA as a paradigmatic example of the insecticidal function of fungal ribotoxins.
Keywords: insecticidal proteins; ribotoxins; a-sarcin; hirsutellin; ribonucleases; cytotoxic proteins insecticidal proteins; ribotoxins; a-sarcin; hirsutellin; ribonucleases; cytotoxic proteins
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Supplementary material

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

Herrero-Galán, E.; García-Ortega, L.; Olombrada, M.; Lacadena, J.; del Pozo, Á.M.; Gavilanes, J.G.; Oñaderra, M. Hirsutellin A: A Paradigmatic Example of the Insecticidal Function of Fungal Ribotoxins. Insects 2013, 4, 339-356.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Insects EISSN 2075-4450 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top