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Neuropeptidomics of the Bed Bug Cimex lectularius

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journal contribution
posted on 17.11.2017, 00:00 by Reinhard Predel, Susanne Neupert, Christian Derst, Klaus Reinhardt, Christian Wegener
The bed bug Cimex lectularius is a globally distributed human ectoparasite with fascinating biology. It has recently acquired resistance against a broad range of insecticides, causing a worldwide increase in bed bug infestations. The recent annotation of the bed bug genome revealed a full complement of neuropeptide and neuropeptide receptor genes in this species. With regard to the biology of C. lectularius, neuropeptide signaling is especially interesting because it regulates feeding, diuresis, digestion, as well as reproduction and also provides potential new targets for chemical control. To identify which neuropeptides are translated from the genome-predicted genes, we performed a comprehensive peptidomic analysis of the central nervous system of the bed bug. We identified in total 144 different peptides from 29 precursors, of which at least 67 likely present bioactive mature neuropeptides. C. lectularius corazonin and myosuppressin are unique and deviate considerably from the canonical insect consensus sequences. Several identified neuropeptides likely act as hormones, as evidenced by the occurrence of respective mass signals and immunoreactivity in neurohemal structures. Our data provide the most comprehensive peptidome of a Heteropteran species so far and in comparison suggest that a hematophageous life style does not require qualitative adaptations of the insect peptidome.

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