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Dev Comp Immunol. 2008;32(4):311-6. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

Hemolin-A lepidopteran anti-viral defense factor?

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, 3205 McGaugh Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-3900, USA.


Immunity in insects has largely focused on responses towards bacteria and fungi, but recently the study of immune responses against viral infections has also received attention. In Lepidoptera, phagocytosis and encapsulation mediated by hemocytes, and apoptosis are part of the response against virus infection; however, many studies also suggest the presence of unknown factors involved in the anti-viral defense. An up-regulation of the lepidopteran-specific pattern recognition protein Hemolin after baculovirus infection in the Chinese oak silkmoth and discovery of putative virus responsive elements in the up-stream regions of Hemolin in the Cecropia moth and the Tobacco horn worm could suggest that Hemolin is involved in virus defense. In this paper, a number of studies investigating baculovirus pathogenesis, and others analyzing Hemolin expression have been revisited leading to the speculation that Hemolin could be engaged in several anti-viral processes.

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