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The leaves of green plants as well as a cyanobacterium, a red alga, and fungi contain insulin-like antigens

Author(s): Silva L.B. | Santos S.S.S. | Azevedo C.R. | Cruz M.A.L. | Venâncio T.M. | Cavalcante C.P. | Uchôa A.F. | Astolfi Filho S. | Oliveira A.E.A. | Fernandes K.V.S. | Xavier-Filho J.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
ISSN 0100-879X

Volume: 35;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 297;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Insulin | Insulin-like | Antigens | Evolution | Plants | Cyanobacteria | Algae | Fungi

We report the detection of insulin-like antigens in a large range of species utilizing a modified ELISA plate assay and Western blotting. We tested the leaves or aerial parts of species of Rhodophyta (red alga), Bryophyta (mosses), Psilophyta (whisk ferns), Lycopodophyta (club mosses), Sphenopsida (horsetails), gymnosperms, and angiosperms, including monocots and dicots. We also studied species of fungi and a cyanobacterium, Spirulina maxima. The wide distribution of insulin-like antigens, which in some cases present the same electrophoretic mobility as bovine insulin, together with results recently published by us on the amino acid sequence of an insulin isolated from the seed coat of jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) and from the developing fruits of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), suggests that pathways depending on this hormone have been conserved through evolution.
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