Amyloid/Melanin distinctive mark in invertebrate immunity
Keywords:amyloid fibrils, melanin, ACTH, α-MSH, neutral endopeptidase, invertebrate immunity
Protostomes and Deuterostomes show the same nexus between melanin production, and amyloid fibril production, i.e., the presence of melanin is indissolubly linked to amyloid scaffold that, in turn, is conditioned by the redox status/cytoplasmic pH modification, pro-protein cleavage presence, adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), and neutral endopeptidase (NEP) overexpressions. These events represent the crucial component of immune response in invertebrates, while in vertebrates these series of occurrences could be interpreted as a modest and very restricted innate immune response. On the whole, it emerges that the mechanisms involving amyloid fibrils/pigment synthesis in phylogenetically distant metazoan (viz, cnidaria, molluscs, annelids, insects, ascidians and vertebrates) are evolutionary conserved. Furthermore, our data show the relationship between immune and neuroendocrine systems in amyloid/melanin synthesis. Indeed the process is closely associated to ACTH-α-MSH production, and their role in stress responses leading to pigment production reflects and confirms again their ancient phylogeny.