Hemoglobin Reassembly of Antimicrobial Fragments from the Midgut of Triatoma infestans


Hemoglobin is one of the most important molecules of the human body. Beyond its physiological activity, hemoglobins are able to inhibit the growth of several microorganisms. Since 1999, studies have reported that antimicrobial peptides can be produced by blood-feeding insects through hemoglobin digestion, and it has been reported that Triatoma infestans can generate an antimicrobial fragment from human fibrinopeptide. Thus T. infestans intestinal content was analyzed through Reverse Phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (RP-HPLC), the eluted fractions were tested against Micrococcus luteus, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and the active fractions submitted to mass spectrometry. The data obtained were compared to hemoglobin databases to verify the presence of hemoglobin-derived fragments. Ten fractions eluted from chromatography presented antimicrobial activity, and when analyzed through mass spectrometry revealed the presence of 8 murine hemoglobin α-chain fragments and 24 fragments from murine hemoglobin β fragments. Through the compilation of the fragments is possible to obtain over 67% coverage of both sequences. Part of the amino acid sequences corresponds to the sequences already identified on other intestinal contents of arthropods, and are highly conserved between the blood of other wild animals that are the most common intermediate hosts of Chagas’ disease in Brazil and some of the main natural blood source for triatomines.