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Nigritoxin is a bacterial toxin for crustaceans and insects

Abstract : The Tetraconata (Pancrustacea) concept proposes that insects are more closely related to aquatic crustaceans than to terrestrial centipedes or millipedes. The question therefore arises whether insects have kept crustacean-specific genetic traits that could be targeted by specific toxins. Here we show that a toxin (nigritoxin), originally identified in a bacterial pathogen of shrimp, is lethal for organisms within the Tetraconata and non-toxic to other animals. X-ray crystallography reveals that nigritoxin possesses a new protein fold of the α/β type. The nigritoxin N-terminal domain is essential for cellular translocation and likely encodes speci-ficity for Tetraconata. Once internalized by eukaryotic cells, nigritoxin induces apoptotic cell death through structural features that are localized in the C-terminal domain of the protein. We propose that nigritoxin will be an effective means to identify a Tetraconata evolutionarily conserved pathway and speculate that nigritoxin holds promise as an insecticidal protein.
Mots-clés : insecticide
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Yannick Labreuche, Sabine Chenivesse, Alexandra Jeudy, Sophie Le Panse, Viviane Boulo, et al.. Nigritoxin is a bacterial toxin for crustaceans and insects. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 8 (1), pp.1248. ⟨10.1038/s41467-017-01445-z⟩. ⟨hal-01633933⟩

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