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Characterization of insecticidal molecules produced at the digestive system from the spider Nephilingis cruentata and the effect at the development of Aedes aegypti

Grant number: 18/23698-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2019
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Enzymology
Principal Investigator:Adriana Rios Lopes
Grantee:Oscar Bento da Silva Neto
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Insects are the most important agriculture pests causing losses of approximately 15 billion dollars to global economy every year. Thus, it's necessary to develop new insect control strategies and insecticides. Spiders are insects predators and they have some insecticide molecules at their venoms. However, the use of new high throughput DNA and protein sequencing technics, allowed the identification of new molecules with insecticide potential at the digestive system of spiders. Biochemical analysis has showed the capacity of inhibition from the digestive system from spiders to peptidases involved in the digestive process in insects. These inhibitors (spider peptidase inhibitors - SPI) are active against trypsin and chymotrypsin enzymes, which are the most important digestive proteolytic enzymes in insects. Enriched fractions of SPI from the digestive system from the spider Nephilingis cruentata were used to in vivo assays evidencing the capacity to affect Aedes aegypti development. This mosquito species is the ethnological vector of dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever virus related to recent epidemic events in Brazil. The most effective action to reduce the number of flaviviridae viruses still is the reduction of mosquito population. Hence, the characterization of SPI previously identified by high throughput technics at the digestive system from the spider Nephilingis cruentata is of paramount importance. This project aims to isolate the inhibitor/insecticide molecules, clone and express at heterologous system in order to test in vivo their effectiveness to control Aedes aegypti. (AU)

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