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Open AccessArticle

Bmserpin2 Is Involved in BmNPV Infection by Suppressing Melanization in Bombyx mori

by Shahzad Toufeeq 1,2,†, Jie Wang 1,2,†, Shang-Zhi Zhang 1,2, Bing Li 1,2, Pei Hu 1,2, Lin-Bao Zhu 1,2, Ling-Ling You 1,2 and Jia-Ping Xu 1,2,*
School of Life Sciences, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China
Anhui International Joint Research and Developmental Center of Sericulture Resources Utilization, Hefei 230036, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Insects 2019, 10(11), 399;
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 11 November 2019
Melanization, an important defense response, plays a vital role in arthropod immunity. It is mediated by serine proteases (SPs) that convert the inactive prophenoloxidase (PPO) to active phenoloxidase (PO) and is tightly regulated by serine protease inhibitors (serpins) which belong to a well distributed superfamily in invertebrates, participating in immune mechanisms and other important physiological processes. Here, we investigated the Bmserpin2 gene which was identified from a transcriptome database in response to Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) infection. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) results showed that Bmserpin2 was expressed in all tissues, with maximum expression in fat body. Upon BmNPV infection, the expression of Bmserpin2 was up-regulated in P50 (susceptible strain) and BC9 (resistant strain) in haemocytes, fat body and the midgut. However, up-regulation was delayed in BC9 (48 or 72 h), in contrast to P50 (24 h), after BmNPV infection. Meanwhile, Bmserpin2 could delay or inhibit melanization in silkworm haemolymph. Significant increased PO activity can be observed in Bmserpin2-depleted haemolymph under NPV infection. Furthermore, the viral genomic DNA copy number was decreased in Bmserpin2-depleted haemolymph. We conclude that Bmserpin2 is an inducible gene which might be involved in the regulation of PPO activation and suppressed melanization, and have a potential role in the innate immune system of B. mori. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bombyx mori; NPV; Serpin2; melanization Bombyx mori; NPV; Serpin2; melanization
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Toufeeq, S.; Wang, J.; Zhang, S.-Z.; Li, B.; Hu, P.; Zhu, L.-B.; You, L.-L.; Xu, J.-P. Bmserpin2 Is Involved in BmNPV Infection by Suppressing Melanization in Bombyx mori. Insects 2019, 10, 399.

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