Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Naturwissenschaften 91 (2004), pp. 371–373; doi: 10.1007/s00114-004-0548-2.


Copyright © 2004 Springer-Verlag. Used by permission.


The bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila is a virulent insect pathogen. Part of its pathogenicity is due to impairing cellular immunity by blocking biosynthesis of eicosanoids, the major recognized signal transduction system in insect cellular immunity. X. nematophila inhibits the first step in eicosanoid biosynthesis, phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Here we report that the bacterium inhibits PLA2 from two insect immune tissues, hemocytes and fat body, as well as PLA2s selected to represent a wide range of organisms, including prokaryotes, insects, reptiles, and mammals. Our finding on a bacterial in-hibitor of PLA2 activity contributes new insight into the chemical ecology of microbe-host interactions, which usually involve actions rather than inhibitors of PLA2s.

Included in

Entomology Commons