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Plant Ureases and Related Peptides: Understanding Their Entomotoxic Properties

1
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Porto Alegre, 91501-970, Brazil
2
Department of Biophysics and Center of Biotechnology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Porto Alegre, 91501-970, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2012, 4(2), 55-67; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins4020055
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)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant defense; urease; Jaburetox-2Ec; Malpighian tubules; midgut; fluid secretion plant defense; urease; Jaburetox-2Ec; Malpighian tubules; midgut; fluid secretion
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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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