Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications vol:246 issue:2 pages:457-462
Larval haemolymph of Neobellieria bullata (Insecta, Diptera) is highly toxic to adults of the same species: injection causes instant paralysis to death. Referring to their dramatic effect in adult insects the responsible compounds were designated paralysins. Two paralysins, soluble in organic solvents and heat stable, were chromatographically purified to homogeneity. They were identified by use of mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance respectively as beta-alanine-tyrosine (beta-Ala-Tyr) and as 3-hydroxy-kynurenine (3-HK). The quantities of beta-Ala-Tyr and 3-HK in the insect appear to increase steadily during larval development, with peak values prior to the pupal stage. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of some aspects of the process of insect metamorphosis. Orienting experiments in mammals suggest that both compounds, when injected intraspinally, are also neurotoxic to rats. In addition, cytotoxicity tests revealed that 3-HK, but not beta-Ala-Tyr is toxic to human neuroblastoma cells, rat primary cortex neurons as well as to rat glial cells.