Review

Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 351, Issue 2, pp 339-352

First online:

Intestinal proteases of free-living and parasitic astigmatid mites

  • Deborah C. HoltAffiliated withMenzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University
  • , Stewart T. G. BurgessAffiliated withParasitology Division, Moredun Research Institute
  • , Simone L. ReynoldsAffiliated withInfectious Diseases Program, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Brisbane HospitalSchool of Veterinary Sciences, University of Queensland
  • , Wajahat MahmoodAffiliated withMenzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University
  • , Katja FischerAffiliated withInfectious Diseases Program, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Brisbane Hospital Email author 

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Abstract

Among arthropod pests, mites are responsible for considerable damage to crops, humans and other animals. However, detailed physiological data on these organisms remain sparse, mainly because of their small size but possibly also because of their extreme diversity. Focusing on intestinal proteases, we draw together information from three distinct mite species that all feed on skin but have separately adapted to a free-living, a strictly ecto-parasitic and a parasitic lifestyle. A wide range of studies involving immunohistology, molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and enzyme biochemistry of mite gut proteases suggests that these creatures have diverged considerably as house dust mites, sheep scab mites and scabies mites. Each species has evolved a particular variation of a presumably ancestral repertoire of digestive enzymes that have become specifically adapted to their individual environmental requirements.

Keywords

Protease Sarcoptes scabiei Psoroptes ovis Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus