Hirsutellin A: A Paradigmatic Example of the Insecticidal Function of Fungal Ribotoxins



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Herrero Galán, Elías and García Ortega, Lucía and Olombrada Sacristán, Miriam and Lacadena García-Gallo, Javier and Martínez del Pozo, Álvaro and Gavilanes Franco, José Gregorio and Oñaderra Sánchez, Mercedes (2013) Hirsutellin A: A Paradigmatic Example of the Insecticidal Function of Fungal Ribotoxins. Insects, 4 (3). pp. 339-356. ISSN 2075-4450

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/insects4030339


The fungal pathogen Hirsutella thompsonii produces an insecticidal protein named hirsutellin A (HtA), which has been described to be toxic to several species of mites, insect larvae, and cells. On the other hand, on the basis of an extensive biochemical and structural characterization, HtA has been considered to be a member of the ribotoxins family. Ribotoxins are fungal extracellular ribonucleases, which inactivate ribosomes by specifically cleaving a single phosphodiester bond located at the large rRNA. Although ribotoxins were brought to light in the 1960s as antitumor agents, their biological function has remained elusive. Thus, the consideration of hirsutellin A, an insecticidal protein, as a singular ribotoxin recalled the idea of the biological activity of these toxins as insecticidal agents. Further studies have demonstrated that the most representative member of the ribotoxin family, α-sarcin, also shows strong toxic action against insect cells. The determination of high resolution structures, the characterization of a large number of mutants, and the toxicity assays against different cell lines have been the tools used for the study of the mechanism of action of ribotoxins at the molecular level. The aim of this review is to serve as a compilation of the facts that allow identification of HtA as a paradigmatic example of the insecticidal function of fungal ribotoxins.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:insecticidal proteins; ribotoxins; a-sarcin; hirsutellin; ribonucleases; cytotoxic proteins
Subjects:Sciences > Chemistry > Biochemistry
ID Code:66291
Deposited On:21 Jun 2021 15:20
Last Modified:22 Jun 2021 09:05

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