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Identification and characterization of cysteine peptidases from Diaphorina citri, Huanglongbing disease vector, and studies of interaction between cysteine peptidases and citrus cystatins


The Brazilian citrus industry is one of the most important agricultural activities to the national economy. Brazil is now the largest orange producer and exporter of concentrated orange juice in the world. The citrus plants are being constantly attacked by pests and pathogens that cause damage to the plants and, consequently, a significant decreasing in productivity. A disease called Huanglongbing has been causing serious damage to the citrus plants. The infected plants become smaller with lower percentage of juice in the fruit. This disease is caused by Candidatus Liberibacter spp bacterium that colonizes the phloem and is transmitted to citrus plants by the insect Diaphorina citri. Currently there is no effective control strategy for this pest, so an alternative to reduce the incidence of this disease it would be the development of plants resistant to insect Diaphorina citri. The use of protease inhibitors in the development of transgenic plants is an approach that has been widely used for some years in pest control. These protease inhibitors have been shown capable of inhibiting proteases present in the insect gut. Thus, this project is intended to identify proteases from Diaphorina citri which can be used as target to control the insect. The cisteine peptidases will be expressed in Pichia pastoris, purified to perform the characterization of enzyme.Searches in the database with information from the citrus genome will be conducted to identify inhibitors of cysteine proteases, which are produced in E.coli cells. Subsequent tests will be performed for inhibition of enzymatic activity of Diaphorina citri cysteine peptidases in vitro using citrus cystatins for the validation of target enzymes. Inhibitors of cysteine prptidases specific for Diaphorina citri enzymes will be selected for use in future studies of the development of transgenic plants (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GOMES SMAUL, MAYRIM MACHADO; BUDU, ALEXANDRE; MONTAGNA, GEORGINA NURI; DA SILVA FERRARA, TAISE FERNANDA; MALUF, SARAH EL CHAMY; BAGNARESI, PIERO; FERREIRA MACHADO, MARCELO MARCONDES; DOS SANTOS, FELLIPE BRONZE; DE AZEVEDO, MAURO FERREIRA; CARMONA, ADRIANA KARAOGLANOVIC; et al. Plasmodium falciparum histidine triad protein and calmodulin modulates calcium homeostasis and intracellular proteolysis. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, v. 503, n. 2, p. 722-728, . (12/24278-5, 16/15298-3, 14/07138-0, 16/02412-2, 15/19316-3, 13/12913-0, 15/00689-4, 15/11861-2, 15/07182-2, 11/20941-9)
DA COSTA FERNANDES, JR., CELIO; RODRIGUEZ, VICTOR MANUEL OCHOA; SOARES-COSTA, ANDREA; CIRELLI, JONI AUGUSTO; JUSTINO, DANIELA MORILHA NEO; ROMA, BARBARA; ZAMBUZZI, WILLIAN FERNANDO; FARIA, GISELE. Cystatin-like protein of sweet orange (CsinCPI-2) modulates pre-osteoblast differentiation via beta-Catenin involvement. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS SCIENCE-MATERIALS IN MEDICINE, v. 32, n. 4, . (14/22689-3, 18/24150-5, 12/24278-5, 17/05784-0, 19/21807-6)

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