Background: Meloidae (blister beetles) are known to synthetize cantharidin (CA), a toxic and defensive terpene mainly stored in male accessory glands (MAG) and emitted outward through reflex-bleeding. Recent progresses in understanding CA biosynthesis and production organ(s) in Meloidae have been made, but the way in which self-protection is achieved from the hazardous accumulation and release of CA in blister beetles has been experimentally neglected. To provide hints on this pending question, a comparative de novo assembly transcriptomic approach was performed by targeting two tissues where CA is largely accumulated and regularly circulates in Meloidae: the male reproductive tract (MRT) and the haemolymph. Differential gene expression profiles in these tissues were examined in two blister beetle species, Lydus trimaculatus (Fabricius, 1775) (tribe Lyttini) and Mylabris variabilis (Pallas, 1781) (tribe Mylabrini). Upregulated transcripts were compared between the two species to identify conserved genes possibly involved in CA detoxification and transport. Results: Based on our results, we hypothesize that, to avoid auto-intoxication, ABC, MFS or other solute transporters might sequester purported glycosylated CA precursors into MAG, and lipocalins could bind CA and mitigate its reactivity when released into the haemolymph during the autohaemorrhaging response. We also found an over-representation in haemolymph of protein-domains related to coagulation and integument repairing mechanisms that likely reflects the need to limit fluid loss during reflex-bleeding. Conclusions: The de novo assembled transcriptomes of L. trimaculatus and M. variabilis here provided represent valuable genetic resources to further explore the mechanisms employed to cope with toxicity of CA in blister beetle tissues. These, if revealed, might help conceiving safe and effective drug-delivery approaches to enhance the use of CA in medicine.

Unraveling the role of male reproductive tract and haemolymph in cantharidin-exuding Lydus trimaculatus and Mylabris variabilis (Coleoptera: Meloidae): a comparative transcriptomics approach / Fratini, E.; Salvemini, M.; Lombardo, F.; Muzzi, M.; Molfini, M.; Gisondi, S.; Roma, E.; D'Ezio, V.; Persichini, T.; Gasperi, T.; Mariottini, P.; Di Giulio, A.; Bologna, M. A.; Cervelli, M.; Mancini, E.. - In: BMC GENOMICS. - ISSN 1471-2164. - 22:1(2021). [10.1186/s12864-021-08118-8]

Unraveling the role of male reproductive tract and haemolymph in cantharidin-exuding Lydus trimaculatus and Mylabris variabilis (Coleoptera: Meloidae): a comparative transcriptomics approach

Lombardo F.
Investigation
;
Mancini E.
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2021

Abstract

Background: Meloidae (blister beetles) are known to synthetize cantharidin (CA), a toxic and defensive terpene mainly stored in male accessory glands (MAG) and emitted outward through reflex-bleeding. Recent progresses in understanding CA biosynthesis and production organ(s) in Meloidae have been made, but the way in which self-protection is achieved from the hazardous accumulation and release of CA in blister beetles has been experimentally neglected. To provide hints on this pending question, a comparative de novo assembly transcriptomic approach was performed by targeting two tissues where CA is largely accumulated and regularly circulates in Meloidae: the male reproductive tract (MRT) and the haemolymph. Differential gene expression profiles in these tissues were examined in two blister beetle species, Lydus trimaculatus (Fabricius, 1775) (tribe Lyttini) and Mylabris variabilis (Pallas, 1781) (tribe Mylabrini). Upregulated transcripts were compared between the two species to identify conserved genes possibly involved in CA detoxification and transport. Results: Based on our results, we hypothesize that, to avoid auto-intoxication, ABC, MFS or other solute transporters might sequester purported glycosylated CA precursors into MAG, and lipocalins could bind CA and mitigate its reactivity when released into the haemolymph during the autohaemorrhaging response. We also found an over-representation in haemolymph of protein-domains related to coagulation and integument repairing mechanisms that likely reflects the need to limit fluid loss during reflex-bleeding. Conclusions: The de novo assembled transcriptomes of L. trimaculatus and M. variabilis here provided represent valuable genetic resources to further explore the mechanisms employed to cope with toxicity of CA in blister beetle tissues. These, if revealed, might help conceiving safe and effective drug-delivery approaches to enhance the use of CA in medicine.
File allegati a questo prodotto
File Dimensione Formato  
Fratini_Unraveling_2021.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (versione pubblicata con il layout dell'editore)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 2.5 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.5 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri PDF

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1586646
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact