hemolymph; hemocytes; innate immune system; venom gland; antimicrobial peptides; cytolytic peptides; host defence peptides
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Kopp LS, Nentwig W, Haenni B, Streitbereger K, Schürch S, Schaller J (2014), Functional differentiation of spider hemocytes by light and transmission electron microscopy, and MALDI-MS-imaging., in Developmental and Comparative Immunology
, 43, 59-67.
Nentwig W, Kuhn-Nentwig L (2013), Main components of spider venoms, in Nentwig W (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg, 191-202.
Nentwig W (ed) (2013), Spider ecophysiology
, Springer, Heidelberg.
Nentwig W, Kuhn-Nentwig L (2013), Spider venoms potentially lethal to humans, in Nentwig W (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg, 253-264.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Nentwig W (2013), The immune system of spiders, in Nentwig W (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg, 81-91.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Fedorova IM, Lüscher BP, Kopp LS, Trachsel C, Schaller J, Streitberger K, Nentwig W, Sigel E, Magazanik LG (2012), A Venom-derived neurotoxin, CsTx-1, from the spider Cupiennius salei exhibits cytolytic activities, in J Biol Chem
, 287(30), 25640-25649.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Nentwig W (2012), Das Gift der Bananenspinne - Cupiennius salei, eine Kammspinne aus Mittelamerika, macht eine steile wissenschaftliche Karriere, in SENCKENBERG natur - forschung - museum
, 142(3/4), 114-121.
Trachsel C, Siegemund D, Kopp LS, Lüthi C, Cunningham M, Nentwig W, Kuhn-Nentwig L, Schürch S, Schaller J (2012), Multicomponent venom of the spider Cupiennius salei: a bioanalytical investigation applying different strategies, in FEBS J
, 279, 2683-2694.
Trachsel C, Widmer C, Kämpfer U, Bühr C, Baumann T, Kuhn-Nentwig L, Schürch S, Schaller J, Baumann U (2012), Structural and biochemical characterization of native and recombinant single insulin-like growth factor-binding domain protein (SIBD-1) from the Central American hunting spider Cupiennius salei, in Proteins
, 80, 2323-2329.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Nentwig W (2012), The cytotoxic mode of action of the venom of Cupiennius salei (Ctenidae)., in Nentwig W (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg, 217-228.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Willems J, Seebeck T, Shalaby T, Kaiser M, Nentwig W (2011), Cupiennin 1a exhibits a remarkably broad, non-stereospecific cytolytic activity on bacteria, protozoan parasites, insects, and human cancer cells, in AMINO ACIDS
, 40(1), 69-76.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Largiadèr CR, Streitberger K, Chandru S, Baumann T, Kämpfer U, Schaller J, Schürch S, Nentwig W (2011), Purification, cDNA 1 structure and biological significance of a single insulin-like growth factor-binding domain protein (SIBD-1) identified in the hemocytes of the spider Cupiennius salei., in Insect Biochem Mol Biol
, 41, 891-901.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Stöcklin R, Nentwig W (2011), Venom composition and strategies in spiders: is everything possible?, in Adv Insect Physiol
, 40, 1-86.
Baumann T, Kämpfer U, Schürch S, Schaller J, Largiader C, Nentwig W, Kuhn-Nentwig L (2010), Ctenidins: antimicrobial glycine-rich peptides from the hemocytes of the spider Cupiennius salei, in Cell Mol Life Sci
, 67(16), 2787-2798.
Baumann T, Kuhn-Nentwig L, Largiader CR, Nentwig W (2010), Expression of defensins in non-infected araneomorph spiders, in Cell Mol Life Sci
, 67(15), 2643-2651.
Kuhn-Nentwig L (2009), Cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides in the venom of scorpions and spiders., in De Lima ME (ed.), University of Minas Gerais Publishing, Belo Horizonte , 249-268.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Trachsel C, Nentwig W (2009), Spider venom and hemolymph derived cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides, in Howl J (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, 447-464.
Kuhn-Nentwig L, Sheynis T, Kolusheva S, Nentwig W, Jelinek R, N-terminal aromatic residues closely impact the cytolytic activity of cupiennin 1a, a major spider venom peptide., in Toxicon
Antimicrobial peptides, cytolytic peptides and comparable substances, recently summarised as host defence peptides, are crucial for the survival of all living organisms. In the last decades more than a thousand such compounds have been isolated not only from different immune-related cells but also from a variety of tissues such as epithelia and glands from a large variety of species from all major taxonomic groups. Due to limited research efforts, host defence peptides have so far only been detected in a few species of spiders. Most records concern cytolytic peptides in spider venom, some records also concern the spider’s immune system (hemocytes and hemolymph). In the here proposed project, which is a continuation of our previous studies on the structure and function of cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides from venom and hemolymph of Cupiennius salei, we want to investigate the similarities and differences of host defence peptides from these two sources.We are focussing our project on two hypotheses. Our first hypothesis states that the innate immune system of spiders is primarily a constitutive system, in which host defence compounds are constitutively produced and stored in hemocytes, until an infection causes their release into the hemolymph. We are assuming that the individual compounds of this immune system act synergistically and we will test this. Meanwhile we know of four substances from hemocytes of C. salei (ctenidin, C. salei defensin, peptide 8, and mygalin). With the aid of a cDNA library we will search for further host defence peptides and we will investigate potential synergisms between these compounds. By means of mass spectrometry, we will also analyse hemolymph and hemocytes of unchallenged and microbially challenged spiders to obtain a deeper understanding of the hemolymph and hemocyte based defence processes.Our second hypothesis focuses on the venom glands of C. salei with their cytolytically acting, a-helical peptides (cupiennins) in the venom. We assume that they are only expressed in venom glands because their broad cytolytic activity is not suitable for other tissues. Since this could indicate a defence gap in the case of empty venom glands or in the case of spider species which do not rely on cytolytical peptides, a second defence system is necessary. This could be represented by host defence peptides, such as C. salei defensin or ctenidin.To verify our assumption, we will investigate the expression of host defence peptides in the venom gland tissue. Moreover, we will cause a bacterial infection of the venom glands and analyse the expression of host defence peptides time-dependently by means of mass spectrometry. A qualitative Real Time PCR assay to investigate the mRNA expression levels of a variety of host defence peptides in different tissues will allow us to test our hypothesis on the tissue-specificity of host defence peptides. Our research proposal is scientifically relevant because (1) our knowledge of the immune system and related aspects of the venom gland of C. salei as the model spider will be signifi-cantly deepened which strengthens basic research. (2) Our recent discovery of one spider defensin meets the actual interest of the pharmaceutical industry into these compounds as promising candidates for the development of new antibiotics. (3) Specific defensins and less specific venom gland derived cytolytic peptides are ideal compounds to investigate the mode of action of host defence peptides, especially with respect to cell membrane specificity. (4) Our systematic screenings for so far unknown host defence compounds and our analyses of synergistic effects between compounds could yield results suitable for fuelling into the development of new antibiotics and new substances against pathogenic microbes.