2014 Volume 1 Issue 4

Induction of Glutathione S-Transferase in Helicoverpa zea Fed Cashew Flour


Christopher P. Mattison, Patrick F. Dowd, Matthew R. Tarver, Casey C. Grimm
Abstract

Helicoverpa zea and other insects have evolved strategies to counteract the plant protective proteins and defensive compounds they may encounter during feeding. We sought to take advantage of this phenomenon by identifying proteins up-regulated in H. zea in response to the inclusion of cashew nut flour in their diet. Tree nut and peanut seed storage proteins can act as defensive compounds protecting the tissue from insect damage by inhibiting digestion. When ingested by humans, these proteins can act as potent food allergens that may cause harmful physiological responses in food allergy affected individuals. Cashew allergens, such as the 2S albumin Ana o 3, have homology to protease or amylase inhibitors that inhibit digestion. Insects such as the corn earworm, H. zea, feed on various plant species that contain similar protease or amylase inhibitors and additional defensive compounds. Here, we compared the intestinal protein profile of H. zea fed on media containing pinto bean, cashew, or peanut. Through comparative feeding studies, mass-spectrometry, and glutathione binding assays we demonstrate that Glutathione S-transferases (GST) are specifically induced in the larvae of H. zea when cashew protein is included in their diet. We assessed the ability of purified H. zea GST proteins to break the disulfide bonds of cashew extract proteins and the purified Ana o 3 allergen. Continued research in this area could identify insect enzymes that may be useful in enzymatic processing steps to reduce or eliminate nut allergens and may have application in the food industry or health fields.

Keywords: Helicoverpa zea, cashew, allergen, glutathione S-transferase


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Entomology and Applied Science Letters is an international peer reviewed publication which publishes scientific research & review articles related to insects that contain information of interest to a wider audience, e.g. papers bearing on the theoretical, genetic, agricultural, medical and biodiversity issues. Emphasis is also placed on the selection of comprehensive, revisionary or integrated systematics studies of broader biological or zoogeographical relevance. Papers on non-insect groups are no longer accepted. In addition to full-length research articles and reviews, the journal publishes interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, and Letters to the Editor. The journal publishes reports on all phases of medical entomology and medical acarology, including the systematics and biology of insects, acarines, and other arthropods of public health and veterinary significance.
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Entomology and Applied Science Letters supports the submission of entomological papers that contain information of interest to a wider reader groups e. g. papers bearing on taxonomy, phylogeny, biodiversity, ecology, systematic, agriculture, morphology. The selection of comprehensive, revisionary or integrated systematics studies of broader biological or zoogeographical relevance is also important. Distinguished entomologists drawn from different parts of the world serve as honorary members of the Editorial Board. The journal encompasses all the varied aspects of entomological research. This has become the need felt in scientific research due to the emphasis on intra-, inter-, and multi-disciplinary approach.