Parasitology Research

, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 229–232 | Cite as

Sequence characterization of an unusual lysozyme gene expressed in the intestinal tract of the reduviid bug Triatoma infestans (Insecta)

  • C. Balczun
  • E. Knorr
  • H. Topal
  • C. K. Meiser
  • A. H. Kollien
  • G. A. SchaubEmail author
Original Paper


Antibacterial proteins like lysozyme are important components of the insect non-specific immune response against bacteria. The complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) encoding a new lysozyme from Triatoma infestans, named lysozyme2, has been amplified by polymerase chain reaction and the rapid amplification of cDNA ends technique. The gene is expressed in the small intestine of the insect. The deduced protein sequence shows up to 70% similarity to lysozymes from other species. Furthermore, the protein exhibits significant structural concordance to other insect lysozymes. A striking feature of the lysozyme2 protein is the replacement of the conserved amino acid residues of the active site of classical c-type lysozymes, glutamate and aspartate, by valine and tyrosine.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Fragment Putative Signal Peptide Airborne Bacterium Lysozyme Gene Complementary Deoxyribonucleic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Altschul SF, Madden TL, Schaffer AA, Zhang J, Zhang Z, Miller W, Lipman DJ (1997) Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs. Nucleic Acids Res 25:3389–3402PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Araujo CA, Waniek PJ, Stock P, Mayer C, Jansen AM, Schaub GA (2006) Sequence characterization and expression patterns of defensin and lysozyme encoding genes from the gut of the reduviid bug Triatoma brasiliensis. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 36:547–560PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bendtsen JD, Nielsen H, von Heijne G, Brunak S (2004) Improved prediction of signal peptides: SignalP 3.0. J Mol Biol 340:783–795PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eichler S, Schaub GA (2002) Development of symbionts in triatomine bugs and the effects of infections with trypanosomatids. Exp Parasitol 100:17–27PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fastrez J (1996) Phage lysozymes. In: Jollès J (ed) Lysozymes: model enzymes in biochemistry and biology. Birkhäuser, Basel, pp 35–64Google Scholar
  6. Gasteiger E, Hoogland C, Gattiker A, Duvaud S, Wilkins MR, Appel RD, Bairoch A (2005) Protein identification and analysis tools on the ExPASy server. In: Walker JM (ed) The proteomics protocols handbook. Humana, New York, pp 571–607Google Scholar
  7. Hennig L (2001) WinPep 2.11: novel software for PC-based analyses of amino acid sequences. Prep Biochem Biotechnol 31:201–207PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hultmark D (1996) Insect lysozymes. EXS 75:87–102PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Ibrahim HR, Matsuzaki T, Aoki T (2001) Genetic evidence that antibacterial activity of lysozyme is independent of its catalytic function. FEBS Lett 506:27–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jain D, Nair DT, Swaminathan GJ, Abraham EG, Nagaraju J, Salunke DM (2001) Structure of the induced antibacterial protein from tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta. Implications to molecular evolution. J Biol Chem 276:41377–41382PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jollès P (1996) From the discovery of lysozyme to the characterization of several lysozyme families. In: Jollès P (ed) Lysozymes: model enzymes in biochemistry and biology. Birkhäuser, Basel, pp 3–5Google Scholar
  12. Jollès P, Jollès J (1984) What’s new in lysozyme research? Always a model system, today as yesterday. Mol Cell Biochem 63:165–189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jones JC (1962) Current concepts concerning insect hemocytes. Am Zool 2:209–249Google Scholar
  14. Kollien AH, Schaub GA (1998) The development of Trypanosoma cruzi (Trypanosomatidae) in the reduviid bug Triatoma infestans (Insecta): influence of starvation. J Eukaryot Microbiol 45:59–63PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kollien AH, Fechner S, Waniek PJ, Schaub GA (2003) Isolation and characterization of a cDNA encoding for a lysozyme from the gut of the reduviid bug Triatoma infestans. Arch Insect Biochem Physiol 53:134–145PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lemos FJ, Terra WR (1991) Digestion of bacteria and the role of midgut lysozyme in some insect larvae. Comp Biochem Physiol B 100:265–268PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lemos FJA, Ribeiro AF, Terra WR (1993) A bacteria-digesting midgut-lysozyme from Musca domestica (Diptera) larvae. Purification, properties and secretory mechanism. Insect Mol Biol 23:533–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maddrell SH, O’Donnell MJ, Caffrey R (1993) The regulation of haemolymph potassium activity during initiation and maintenance of diuresis in fed Rhodnius prolixus. J Exp Biol 177:273–285PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Nash JA, Ballard TN, Weaver TE, Akinbi HT (2006) The peptidoglycan-degrading property of lysozyme is not required for bactericidal activity in vivo. J Immunol 177:519–526PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Nicholas KB, Nicholas HBJ, Deerfield DW (1997) GeneDoc: analysis and visualization of genetic variation. Embnet News 4:1–4Google Scholar
  21. Prager EM, Jollès P (1996) Animal lysozymes c and g: an overview. In: Jollès P (ed) Lysozymes: model enzymes in biochemistry and biology. Birkhäuser, Basel, pp 9–31Google Scholar
  22. Schaub GA (1988) Direct transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi between vectors of Chagas’ disease. Acta Trop 4:11–19Google Scholar
  23. Schaub GA, Böker CA, Jensen C, Reduth D (1989) Cannibalism and coprophagy are modes of transmission of Blastocrithidia triatomae (Trypanosomatidae) between triatomines. J Protozool 36:171–175PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Thompson JD, Gibson TJ, Plewniak F, Jeanmougin F, Higgins DG (1997) The CLUSTAL_X windows interface: flexible strategies for multiple sequence alignment aided by quality analysis tools. Nucleic Acids Res 25:4876–4882PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Vocadlo DJ, Davies GJ, Laine R, Withers SG (2001) Catalysis by hen egg-white lysozyme proceeds via a covalent intermediate. Nature 412:835–838PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Waniek PJ, Hendgen-Cotta UB, Stock P, Mayer C, Kollien AH, Schaub GA (2005) Serine proteinases of the human body louse (Pediculus humanus): sequence characterization and expression patterns. Parasitol Res 97:486–500PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zhang K, Gao R, Zhang H, Cai X, Shen C, Wu C, Zhao S, Yu L (2005) Molecular cloning and characterization of three novel lysozyme-like genes, predominantly expressed in the male reproductive system of humans, belonging to the c-type lysozyme/alpha-lactalbumin family. Biol Reprod 73:1064–1071PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Balczun
    • 1
  • E. Knorr
    • 1
  • H. Topal
    • 1
  • C. K. Meiser
    • 1
  • A. H. Kollien
    • 1
  • G. A. Schaub
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Zoology/Parasitology GroupRuhr-UniversityBochumGermany

Personalised recommendations