Proteomics and insect immunity


  • L Shi Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • S M Paskewitz Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA


phagocytosis, antimicrobial peptides, melanization, Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae, 2DPAGE, hemolymph


Insect innate immunity is both a model for vertebrate immunity as well as a key system that impacts
medically important pathogens that are transmitted by insects. Recent developments in proteomics and protein identification techniques combined with the completion of genome sequences for Anopheles gambiae and Drosophila melanogaster provided the tools for examining insect immunity at a new level of molecular detail. Application of proteomics to insect immunity resulted in predictions of new roles in immunity for proteins already known in other contexts (e.g. ferritin, transferrin, Chi-lectins) and helped to target specific members of multi-gene families that respond to different pathogens (e.g. serine proteases, thioester proteins). In addition, proteomics studies verify that post-translational modifications play a key role in insect immunity since many of the identified proteins are modified in some way. These studies complement recent work on insect transcriptomes and provide new directions for further investigation of innate immunity.
Key words: phagocytosis; phagocytosis; antimicrobial peptides; Drosophila melanogaster; Anopheles gambiae; 2DPAGE; hemolymph