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Open AccessArticle

The Silencing of a 14-3-3ɛ Homolog in Tenebrio molitor Leads to Increased Antimicrobial Activity in Hemocyte and Reduces Larval Survivability

Division of Plant Biotechnology, Institute of Environmentally-Friendly Agriculture (IEFA), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea
Trident School of Biotech Sciences, Trident Academy of Creative Technology, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar 751024, India
The Soil Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Soil and Geological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3008, Chuo Kikuu, Morogoro, Tanzania
Jeonnam Bioindustry Foundation Bio Control Research Center, Gokseong 516-942, Korea
Department of Life Science and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, Asan 336-745, Korea
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, California State University, San Bernardino, CA 92407, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wenyi Gu
Genes 2016, 7(8), 53;
Received: 13 July 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 20 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Interference 2016)
The 14-3-3 family of phosphorylated serine-binding proteins acts as signaling molecules in biological processes such as metabolism, division, differentiation, autophagy, and apoptosis. Herein, we report the requirement of 14-3-3ɛ isoform from Tenebrio molitor (Tm14-3-3ɛ) in the hemocyte antimicrobial activity. The Tm14-3-3ɛ transcript is 771 nucleotides in length and encodes a polypeptide of 256 amino acid residues. The protein has the typical 14-3-3 domain, the nuclear export signal (NES) sequence, and the peptide binding residues. The Tm14-3-3ɛ transcript shows a significant three-fold expression in the hemocyte of T. molitor larvae when infected with Escherichia coli Tm14-3-3ɛ silenced larvae show significantly lower survival rates when infected with E. coli. Under Tm14-3-3ɛ silenced condition, a strong antimicrobial activity is elicited in the hemocyte of the host inoculated with E. coli. This suggests impaired secretion of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) into the hemolymph. Furthermore, a reduction in AMP secretion under Tm14-3-3ɛ silenced condition would be responsible for loss in the capacity to kill bacteria and might explain the reduced survivability of the larvae upon E. coli challenge. This shows that Tm14-3-3ɛ is required to maintain innate immunity in T. molitor by enabling antimicrobial secretion into the hemolymph and explains the functional specialization of the isoform. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tenebrio molitor; Tm14-3-3ɛ; AMP secretion; RNA interference; innate immunity Tenebrio molitor; Tm14-3-3ɛ; AMP secretion; RNA interference; innate immunity
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Seo, G.W.; Jo, Y.H.; Seong, J.H.; Park, K.B.; Patnaik, B.B.; Tindwa, H.; Kim, S.-A.; Lee, Y.S.; Kim, Y.J.; Han, Y.S. The Silencing of a 14-3-3ɛ Homolog in Tenebrio molitor Leads to Increased Antimicrobial Activity in Hemocyte and Reduces Larval Survivability. Genes 2016, 7, 53.

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