Structural characterization and biological implications of sulfated N-glycans in a serine protease from the neotropical moth Hylesia metabus (Cramer [1775]) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)

Gleysin Cabrera, Víctor Salazar, Raquel Montesino, Yanet Támbara, Weston B. Struwe, Evelyn Leon, David J. Harvey, Antoine Lesur, Mónica Rincón, Bruno Domon, Milagros Méndez, Madelón Portela, Annia González-Hernández, Ada Triguero, Rosario Durán, Ulf Lundberg, Eva Vonasek, Luis Javier González*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Contact with the urticating setae from the abdomen of adult females of the neo-tropical moth Hylesia metabus gives rise to an urticating dermatitis, characterized by intense pruritus, generalized malaise and occasionally ocular lesions (lepidopterism). The setae contain a pro-inflammatory glycosylated protease homologous to other S1A serine proteases of insects. Deglycosylation with PNGase F in the presence of a buffer prepared with 40% H218O allowed the assignment of an N-glycosylation site. Five main paucimannosidic N-glycans were identified, three of which were exclusively α(1-6)-fucosylated at the proximal GlcNAc. A considerable portion of these N-glycans are anionic species sulfated on either the 4- or the 6-position of the α(1-6)-mannose residue of the core. The application of chemically and enzymatically modified variants of the toxin in an animal model in Guinea pigs showed that the pro-inflammatory and immunological reactions, e.g. disseminated fibrin deposition and activation of neutrophils, are due to the presence of sulfate-linked groups and not on disulfide bonds, as demonstrated by the reduction and S-alkylation of the toxin. On the other hand, the hemorrhagic vascular lesions observed are attributed to the proteolytic activity of the toxin. Thus, N-glycan sulfation may constitute a defense mechanism against predators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-250
Number of pages21
JournalGlycobiology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2014

Keywords

  • Hylesia metabus
  • insects
  • lepidopterism
  • serine protease
  • sulfated N-glycans

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