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The primary function of salivary glands is fluid and protein secretion during feeding. Compared to mammalian systems, little is known about salivary protein secretion processes and the effect of diet on the salivary proteome in insect models. Therefore, the effect of diet nutritional quality on caterpillar labial salivary gland proteins was investigated using an unbiased global proteomic approach by nanoLC/ESI/tandem MS. Caterpillars of the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua Hübner, were fed one of three diets: an artificial diet containing their self-selected protein to carbohydrate (p:c) ratio (22p:20c), an artificial diet containing a higher nutritional content but the same p:c ratio (33p:30c) or the plant Medicago truncatula Gaertn. As expected, most identified proteins were associated with secretory processes and not influenced by diet. However, some diet-specific differences were observed. Nutrient stress-associated proteins, such as peptidyl-propyl cis-trans isomerase and glucose-regulated protein94/endoplasmin, and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase were identified in the labial salivary glands of caterpillars fed nutritionally poor diets, suggesting a link between nutritional status and vesicular exocytosis. Heat shock proteins and proteins involved in endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation were also abundant in the labial salivary glands of these caterpillars. In comparison, proteins associated with development, such as arylphorin, were found in labial salivary glands of caterpillars fed 33p:30c. These results suggest that caterpillars fed balanced or nutritionally-poor diets have accelerated secretion pathways compared to those fed a protein-rich diet. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Khashayar Afshar, Fitsum Fikru Dube, Hamed S Najafabadi, Eric Bonneil, Pierre Thibault, Reza Salavati, Jacqueline C Bede. Insights into the insect salivary gland proteome: diet-associated changes in caterpillar labial salivary proteins. Journal of insect physiology. 2013 Mar;59(3):351-66

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PMID: 23353727

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