Histone acetylation and methylation marks in chromatin of Panstrongylus megistus (Hemiptera, Reduviidae)
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Panstrongylus megistus, a potential vector of Chagas disease, currently occupies a wider geographic distribution in Brazil than Triatoma infestans, another member of the hemipteran Reduviidae family and a vector of the same disease. A small heterochromatic body (chromocenter) formed by the Y chromosome is evident in the somatic cells of P. megistus, differing in size and chromosome type contribution from the well-studied chromocenters present in T. infestans. While the overall distribution of histone epigenetic marks differ when comparing the heterochromatin and euchromatin territories in T. infestans, no similar data have been established for other hemipteran reduviids, including P. megistus. In the present work, histone acetylation and methylation marks were investigated in cells of Malpighian tubules of P. megistus 5th instar nymphs using immunocytochemical assays and compared to previously published data for T. infestans. Although similarities between these species were found regarding absence of acetylated H3K9, H4K8 and H4K16, and H3K9me and H3K9me2 in the chromocenter, presence of these marks in euchromatin, and presence of H3K9me3 in the chromocenter, no intimate association of acetylated H4K8 and 18S rDNA was revealed in the chromocenter of P. megistus. The elevated abundance of H3K9me2 marks at the nuclear periphery in P. megistus cells, differing from data for T. infestans, is suggested to reflect differences in the interaction of lamina-associated chromatin domains with the nuclear lamina, methyl-transferase modulation and/or association with the last DNA endoreplication step in 5th instar nymphs, which is a matter for further investigation.