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PLoS One. 2008 May 7;3(5):e2083. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002083.

The endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis induces the expression of host antioxidant proteins in an Aedes albopictus cell line.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

Abstract

Wolbachia are obligate intracellular bacteria which commonly infect arthropods. They are maternally inherited and capable of altering host development, sex determination, and reproduction. Reproductive manipulations include feminization, male-killing, parthenogenesis, and cytoplasmic incompatibility. The mechanism by which Wolbachia avoid destruction by the host immune response is unknown. Generation of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) by the host are among the first lines of traditional antimicrobial defense. Previous work shows no link between a Wolbachia infection and the induction of AMPs. Here we compare the expression of protein in a cell line naturally infected with Wolbachia and an identical cell line cured of the infection through the use of antibiotics. Protein extracts of each cell line were analyzed by two dimensional gel electrophoresis and LC/MS/MS. Our results show the upregulation of host antioxidant proteins, which are active against ROS generated by aerobic cell metabolism and during an immune response. Furthermore, flow cytometric and microscopic analysis demonstrates that ROS production is significantly greater in Wolbachia-infected mosquito cells and is associated with endosymbiont-containing vacuoles located in the host cell cytoplasm. This is the first empirical data supporting an association between Wolbachia and the insect antioxidant system.

PMID:
18461124
PMCID:
PMC2324199
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0002083
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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