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  Subjects -> BIOLOGY (Total: 2738 journals)
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BIOCHEMISTRY (208 journals)                  1 2 3     

AAPS PharmSciTech     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Acetic Acid Bacteria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ACS Chemical Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 355)
ACS Chemical Neuroscience     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Acta Crystallographica Section D : Biological Crystallography     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Advances and Applications in Bioinformatics and Chemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Biological Chemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
African Journal of Biochemistry Research     Open Access  
African Journal of Chemical Education     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
American Journal of Biochemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology     Open Access   (Followers: 212)
American Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
American Journal of Polymer Science     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Amino Acids     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 237)
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Annual Review of Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29)
Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Applied Organometallic Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Archives Of Physiology And Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Asian Journal of Biochemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Avicenna Journal of Medical Biochemistry     Open Access  
Bangladesh Journal of Medical Biochemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
BBA Clinical     Open Access  
BBR : Biochemistry and Biotechnology Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Biocatalysis     Open Access  
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Biochemical and Molecular Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Biochemical Compounds     Open Access  
Biochemical Engineering Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Biochemical Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biochemical Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Biochemical Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biochemical Society Transactions     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Biochemical Systematics and Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 261)
Biochemistry (Moscow)     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biochemistry (Moscow) Supplement Series A: Membrane and Cell Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Biochemistry (Moscow) Supplemental Series B: Biomedical Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Fishes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Biochemistry Research International     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biochimie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Bioconjugate Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
BioDrugs     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Bioelectrochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Biofuels     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Biogeochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
BioInorganic Reaction Mechanisms     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Biokemistri     Open Access  
Biological Chemistry     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Biomaterials Research     Open Access  
Biomedicines     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
BioMolecular Concepts     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Bioprocess     Open Access  
Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Biosimilars     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
BMC Biochemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
BMC Chemical Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca : Food Science and Technology     Open Access  
Carbohydrate Polymers     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Cell Biochemistry and Function     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Central European Journal of Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
ChemBioChem     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Chemical and Biological Technologies for Agriculture     Open Access  
Chemical Biology & Drug Design     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Chemical Engineering Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Chemical Senses     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Chemical Speciation and Bioavailability     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Chemico-Biological Interactions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Chemistry & Biodiversity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Chemistry & Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Chemistry and Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
ChemTexts     Hybrid Journal  
Clinical Biochemist Reviews     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Clinical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Clinical Lipidology     Full-text available via subscription  
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Comprehensive Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)

        1 2 3     

Journal Cover   Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  [SJR: 1.333]   [H-I: 69]   [6 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0965-1748
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2589 journals]
  • Quantification of symbiotic contributions to lower termite lignocellulose
           digestion using antimicrobial treatments
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Brittany F. Peterson , Hannah L. Stewart , Michael E. Scharf
      Animal-microbe co-evolution and symbiosis are broadly distributed across the animal kingdom. Insects form a myriad of associations with microbes ranging from vectoring of pathogens to intracellular, mutualistic relationships. Lower termites are key models for insect-microbe symbiosis because of the diversity, complexity and functionality of their unique tripartite symbiosis. This collaboration allows termites to live on a diet of nitrogen-poor lignocellulose. Recent functional investigations of lignocellulose digestion in lower termites have primarily focused on the contributions of the eukaryotic members of the termite holobiont (termite and protist). Here, using multiple antimicrobial treatments, we induced differing degrees of dysbiosis in the termite gut, leading to variably altered symbiont abundance and diversity, and lignocellulolytic capacity. Although protists are clearly affected by antimicrobial treatments, our findings provide novel evidence that the removal of distinct groups of bacteria partially reduces, but does not abolish, the saccharolytic potential of the termite gut holobiome. This is specifically manifested by reductions of 23-47% and 30-52% in glucose and xylose yields respectively from complex lignocellulose. Thus, all members of the lower termite holobiont (termite, protist and prokaryotes) are involved in the process of efficient, sustained lignocellulase activity. This unprecedented quantification of the relative importance of prokaryotes in this system emphasizes the collaborative nature of the termite holobiome, and the relevance of lower termites as models for inter-domain symbioses.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-25T08:31:48Z
       
  • Folding behavior of four silks of giant honey bee reflects the
           evolutionary conservation of aculeate silk proteins
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Jakkrawut Maitip , Holly E. Trueman , Benjamin D. Kaehler , Gavin A. Huttley , Panuwan Chantawannakul , Tara D. Sutherland
      Multiple gene duplication events in the precursor of the Aculeata (bees, ants, hornets) gave rise to four silk genes. Whilst these homologs encode proteins with similar amino acid composition and coiled coil structure, the retention of all four homologs implies they each are important. In this study we identified, produced and characterized the four silk proteins from Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee. The proteins were readily purified, allowing us to investigate the folding behavior of solutions of individual proteins in comparison to mixtures of all four proteins at concentrations where they assemble into their native coiled coil structure. In contrast to solutions of any one protein type, solutions of a mixture of the four proteins formed coiled coils that were stable against dilution and detergent denaturation. The results are consistent with the formation of a heteromeric coiled coil protein complex. The mechanism of silk protein coiled coil formation and evolution is discussed in light of these results.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-25T08:31:48Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: March 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 58




      PubDate: 2015-02-20T08:19:17Z
       
  • Phylogenetic analysis and expression profiling of the pattern recognition
           receptors: insights into molecular recognition of invading pathogens in
           Manduca sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Xiufeng Zhang , Yan He , Xiaolong Cao , Ramesh T. Gunaratna , Yun-ru Chen , Gary Blissard , Michael R. Kanost , Haobo Jiang
      Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) detect microbial pathogens and trigger innate immune responses. Previous biochemical studies have elucidated the physiological functions of eleven PRRs in Manduca sexta but our understanding of the recognition process is still limited, lacking genomic perspectives. While 34 C-type lectin-domain proteins and 16 Toll-like receptors are reported in the companion papers, we present here 120 other putative PRRs identified through the genome annotation. These include 76 leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins, 14 peptidoglycan recognition proteins, 6 EGF/Nim-domain proteins, 5 β-1,3-glucanase-related proteins, 4 galectins, 4 fibrinogen-related proteins, 3 thioester proteins, 5 immunoglobulin-domain proteins, 2 hemocytins, and 1 Reeler. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis reveal the evolution history of a diverse repertoire of proteins for pathogen recognition. While functions of insect LRR proteins are mostly unknown, their structure diversification is phenomenal: In addition to the Toll homologs, 22 LRR proteins with a signal peptide are expected to be secreted; 18 LRR proteins lacking signal peptides may be cytoplasmic; 36 LRRs with a signal peptide and a transmembrane segment may be non-Toll receptors on the surface of cells. Expression profiles of the 120 genes in 52 tissue samples reflect complex regulation in various developmental stages and physiological states, including some likely by Rel family transcription factors via κB motifs in the promoter regions. This collection of information is expected to facilitate future biochemical studies detailing their respective roles in this model insect.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-20T08:19:17Z
       
  • Molecular evolution and expression of the CRAL_TRIO protein family in
           insects
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Gilbert Smith , Adriana D. Briscoe
      CRAL_TRIO domain proteins are known to bind small lipophilic molecules such as retinal, inositol and Vitamin E and include such gene family members as PINTA, α-tocopherol transfer (ATT) proteins, retinoid binding proteins, and clavesins. In insects, very little is known about either the molecular evolution of this family of proteins or their ligand specificity. Here we characterize insect CRAL_TRIO domain proteins and present the first insect CRAL_TRIO protein phylogeny constructed by performing reciprocal BLAST searches of the reference genomes of Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae, Apis mellifera, Tribolium castaneum, Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta and Danaus plexippus. We find several highly conserved amino acid residues in the CRAL_TRIO domain-containing genes across insects, and a gene expansion resulting in more than twice as many gene family members in lepidopterans than other surveyed insect species, but no lepidopteran homolog of the PINTA gene in Drosophila. In addition, we examined the expression pattern of CRAL_TRIO domain genes in Manduca sexta heads using RNA-Seq data. Of the 42 gene family members found in the M. sexta reference genome, we found 30 expressed in the head tissue with similar expression profiles between males and females. Our results suggest this gene family underwent a large expansion in Lepidoptera, making the leptidopteran CRAL_TRIO domain family distinct from other holometabolous insect lineages.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-20T08:19:17Z
       
  • Epoxide hydrolase activities and epoxy fatty acids in the mosquito Culex
           quinquefasciatus
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Jiawen Xu , Christophe Morisseau , Jun Yang , Dadala M. Mamatha , Bruce D. Hammock
      Culex mosquitoes have emerged as important model organisms for mosquito biology, and are disease vectors for multiple mosquito-borne pathogens, including West Nile virus. We characterized epoxide hydrolase activities in the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus, which suggested multiple forms of epoxide hydrolases were present. We found EH activities on epoxy eicosatrienoic acids (EETs). EETs and other eicosanoids are well-established lipid signaling molecules in vertebrates. We showed EETs can be synthesized in vitro from arachidonic acids by mosquito lysate, and EETs were also detected in vivo both in larvae and adult mosquitoes by LC-MS/MS. The EH activities on EETs can be induced by blood feeding, and the highest activity was observed in the midgut of female mosquitoes. The enzyme activities on EETs can be inhibited by urea-based inhibitors designed for mammalian soluble epoxide hydrolases (sEH). The sEH inhibitors have been shown to play diverse biological roles in mammalian systems, and they can be useful tools to study the function of EETs in mosquitoes. Besides juvenile hormone metabolism and detoxification, insect epoxide hydrolases may also play a role in regulating lipid signaling molecules, such as EETs and other epoxy fatty acids, synthesized in vivo or obtained from blood feeding by female mosquitoes.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-20T08:19:17Z
       
  • Identification of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa toxin domain II loop 1 as
           the binding site of Tenebrio molitor cadherin repeat CR12
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Fernando Zúñiga-Navarrete , Isabel Gómez , Guadalupe Peña , Itzel Amaro , Ernesto Ortíz , Baltazar Becerril , Jorge E. Ibarra , Alejandra Bravo , Mario Soberón
      Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins exert their toxic effect by specific recognition of larval midgut proteins leading to oligomerization of the toxin, membrane insertion and pore formation. The exposed domain II loop regions of Cry toxins have been shown to be involved in receptor binding. Insect cadherins have shown to be functionally involved in toxin binding facilitating toxin oligomerization. Here, we isolated a VHH (VHHA5) antibody by phage display that binds Cry3Aa loop 1 and competed with the binding of Cry3Aa to Tenebrio molitor brush border membranes. VHHA5 also competed with the binding of Cry3Aa to a cadherin fragment (CR12) that was previously shown to be involved in binding and toxicity of Cry3Aa, indicating that Cry3Aa binds CR12 through domain II loop 1. Moreover, we show that a loop 1 mutant, previously characterized to have increased toxicity to T. molitor, displayed a correlative enhanced binding affinity to T. molitor CR12 and to VHHA5. These results show that Cry3Aa domain II loop 1 is a binding site of CR12 T. molitor cadherin.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-20T08:19:17Z
       
  • Multicopper oxidase-1 orthologs from diverse insect species have ascorbate
           oxidase activity
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Zeyu Peng , Neal T. Dittmer , Minglin Lang , Lisa M. Brummett , Caroline L. Braun , Lawrence C. Davis , Michael R. Kanost , Maureen J. Gorman
      Members of the multicopper oxidase (MCO) family of enzymes can be classified by their substrate specificity; for example, ferroxidases oxidize ferrous iron, ascorbate oxidases oxidize ascorbate, and laccases oxidize aromatic substrates such as diphenols. Our previous work on an insect multicopper oxidase, MCO1, suggested that it may function as a ferroxidase. This hypothesis was based on three lines of evidence: RNAi-mediated knock down of Drosophila melanogaster MCO1 (DmMCO1) affects iron homeostasis, DmMCO1 has ferroxidase activity, and DmMCO1 has predicted iron binding residues. In our current study, we expanded our focus to include MCO1 from Anopheles gambiae, Tribolium castaneum, and Manduca sexta. We verified that MCO1 orthologs have similar expression profiles, and that the MCO1 protein is located on the basal surface of cells where it is positioned to oxidize substrates in the hemolymph. In addition, we determined that RNAi-mediated knock down of MCO1 in A. gambiae affects iron homeostasis. To further characterize the enzymatic activity of MCO1 orthologs, we purified recombinant MCO1 from all four insect species and performed kinetic analyses using ferrous iron, ascorbate and two diphenols as substrates. We found that all of the MCO1 orthologs are much better at oxidizing ascorbate than they are at oxidizing ferrous iron or diphenols. This result is surprising because ascorbate oxidases are thought to be specific to plants and fungi. An analysis of three predicted iron binding residues in DmMCO1 revealed that they are not required for ferroxidase or laccase activity, but two of the residues (His374 and Asp380) influence oxidation of ascorbate. These two residues are conserved in MCO1 orthologs from insects and crustaceans; therefore, they are likely to be important for MCO1 function. The results of this study suggest that MCO1 orthologs function as ascorbate oxidases and influence iron homeostasis through an unknown mechanism.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-20T08:19:17Z
       
  • Behavioral and genomic characterization of molt-sleep in the tobacco
           hornworm, Manduca sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Dyan MacWilliam , Peter Arensburger , Jason Higa , Xinping Cui , Michael E. Adams
      During the transition from feeding to molting, larval insects undergo profound changes in behavior and patterns of gene expression regulated by the neuroendocrine system. For some species, a distinctive characteristic of molting larvae is presence of a quiescent state sometimes referred to as “molt-sleep”. Here, observations of 4th instar Manduca sexta larvae indicate the molting period involves a predominantly quiescent state that shares behavioral properties of adult insect sleep in that it is rapidly reversible and accompanied by a reduced responsiveness to both mildly arousing and noxious stimuli. When subjected to noxious stimuli, molting larvae exhibit locomotory and avoidance behaviors similar to those of inter-molt larvae. Although less consolidated, inter-molt quiescence shares many of the same behavioral traits with molting quiescence. However, when subjected to deprivation of quiescence, inter-molt larvae display a compensatory rebound behavior that is not detected in molting larvae. This suggests that molting quiescence is a specialized form of inactivity that affords survival advantages to molting larvae. RNA-seq analysis of molting larvae shows general reduction in expression of genes encoding GPCRs and down regulation of genes connected with cyclic nucleotide signaling. On the other hand, certain ion channel genes are up-regulated, including transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, chloride channels and a voltage-dependent calcium channel. These findings suggest patterns of gene expression consistent with elevation of quiescent state characteristic of the molt in a model holometabolous insect.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-14T08:05:57Z
       
  • A genome-wide analysis of antimicrobial effector genes and their
           transcription patterns in Manduca sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Yan He , Xiaolong Cao , Kai Li , Yingxia Hu , Yun-ru Chen , Gary Blissard , Michael R. Kanost , Haobo Jiang
      Antimicrobial proteins/peptides (AMPs) are effectors of innate immune systems against pathogen infection in multicellular organisms. Over half of the AMPs reported so far come from insects, and these effectors act in concert to suppress or kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. In this work, we have identified 86 AMP genes in the Manduca sexta genome, most of which seem likely to be functional. They encode 15 cecropins, 6 moricins, 6 defensins, 3 gallerimycins, 4 X-tox splicing variants, 14 diapausins, 15 whey acidic protein homologs, 11 attacins, 1 gloverin, 4 lebocins, 6 lysozyme-related proteins, and 4 transferrins. Some of these genes (e.g. attacins, cecropins) constitute large clusters, likely arising after rounds of gene duplication. We compared the amino acid sequences of M. sexta AMPs with their homologs in other insects to reveal conserved structural features and phylogenetic relationships. Expression data showed that many of them are synthesized in fat body and midgut during the larval-pupal molt. Certain genes contain one or more predicted κB binding sites and other regulatory elements in their promoter regions, which may account for the dramatic mRNA level increases in fat body and hemocytes after an immune challenge. Consistent with these strong mRNA increases, many AMPs become highly abundant in the larval plasma at 24 h after the challenge, as demonstrated in our previous peptidomic study. Taken together, these data suggest the existence of a large repertoire of AMPs in M. sexta, whose expression is up-regulated via immune signaling pathways to fight off invading pathogens in a coordinated manner.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-05T17:10:33Z
       
  • Adaptive regulation of digestive serine proteases in the larval midgut of
           Helicoverpa armigera in response to a plant protease inhibitor
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Suyog S. Kuwar , Yannick Pauchet , Heiko Vogel , David G. Heckel
      Protease inhibitors (PIs) are direct defenses induced by plants in response to herbivory. PIs reduce herbivore digestive efficiency by inhibiting insects’ digestive proteases; in turn insects can adapt to PIs by generally increasing protease levels and/or by inducing the expression of PI-insensitive proteases. Helicoverpa armigera, a highly polyphagous lepidopteran insect pest, is known for its ability to adapt to PIs. To advance our molecular and functional understanding of the regulation of digestive proteases, we performed a comprehensive gene expression experiment of H. armigera exposed to soybean Kunitz trypsin inhibitor (SKTI) using a custom-designed microarray. We observed poor larval growth on the SKTI diet until 24 h, however after 48 h larvae attained comparable weight to that of control diet. Although initially the expression of several trypsins and chymotrypsins increased, eventually the expression of some trypsins decreased, while the number of chymotrypsins and their expression increased in response to SKTI. Some of the diverged serine proteases were also differentially expressed. The expression of serine proteases observed using microarrays were further validated by qRT-PCR at different time points (12, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h) after the start of SKTI ingestion. There were also large changes in transcriptional patterns over time in the control diet. Carbohydrate metabolism and immune defense genes were affected in response to SKTI ingestion. Enzyme assays revealed reduced trypsin-specific activity and increased chymotrypsin-specific activity in response to SKTI. The differential regulation of trypsins and chymotrypsins at the transcript and protein levels accompanying a rebound in growth rate indicates that induction of SKTI-insensitive proteases is an effective strategy of H. armigera in coping with this protease inhibitor in its diet.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-05T17:10:33Z
       
  • Endogenous expression of a Bt toxin receptor in the Cry1Ac-susceptible
           insect cell line and its synergistic effect with cadherin on cytotoxicity
           of activated Cry1Ac
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Zuwen Chen , Fei He , Yutao Xiao , Chenxi Liu , Jianghuai Li , Yongbo Yang , Hui Ai , Jianxin Peng , Huazhu Hong , Kaiyu Liu
      Although many insect cell lines derived from various tissues are available, it is unclear whether endogenous receptors of Bacillus thuringienis (Bt) crystal toxins are expressed in these cell lines. In the present study, we demonstrated that the ovaries-derived Spodoptera litura Sl-HP cell line was susceptible to activated Cry1Ac although larvae of S. litura are not susceptible to the toxin. Assays of the transcriptome revealed that thirteen ATP-binding cassette transporter genes (ABC) were expressed at different levels in this cell line. Of these, the SlABCC3 shared 52-55% amino acid sequence identity with the known Bt toxin receptor ABCC2. RNAi-mediated knockdown targeting SlABCC3 significantly decreased the susceptibility of Sl-HP cells to activated Cry1Ac. Over-expression of the gene strongly increased the susceptibility of Trichoplusia ni Hi5 cells to the toxin. Not only was SlABCC3 comparable to the heterologously expressed Helicoverpa armigera Hacadherin on the receptor-mediated cytotoxicity of activated Cry1Ac to Hi5 cells, but also SlABCC3 and Hacadherin had a strong synergistic effect on cytotoxicity of activated Cry1Ac. These results suggested that Bt toxin receptors-expressing insect cell lines can be used as an alternative model for evaluating cytotoxicity of Bt toxins and studying their mechanisms of action.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-05T17:10:33Z
       
  • Developmentally regulated expression and expression strategies of
           Drosophila snoRNAs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Alberto Angrisani , Hakim Tafer , Peter F. Stadler , Maria Furia
      Small nucleolar RNAs constitute a significant portion of the eukaryotic small ncRNA transcriptome and guide site-specific methylation or pseudouridylation of target RNAs. In addition, they can play diverse regulatory roles on gene expression, acting as precursors of smaller fragments able to modulate alternative splicing or operate as microRNAs. Defining their expression strategies and the full repertory of their biological functions is a critical, but still ongoing, process in most organisms. Considering that Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most advantageous model organism for genetic, functional and developmental studies, we analysed the whole genomic organization of its annotated snoRNAs – whose vast majority is known to be embedded in an intronic context – and show by GO term enrichment analysis that protein-coding genes involved in cell division and cytoskeleton organization are those mostly preferred as hosts. This finding was unexpected, and delineates an unpredicted link between snoRNA host genes and cell proliferation that might be of general relevance. We also defined by quantitative RT-PCR the expression of a representative subset of annotated specimens throughout the life cycle, providing a first overview on developmental profiling of the fly snoRNA transcriptome. We found that most of the tested specimens, rather than acting as housekeeping genes with uniform expression, exhibit dynamic developmental expression patterns; moreover, intronic snoRNAs harboured by the same host gene often exhibit distinct temporal profiles, indicating that they can be expressed uncoordinatedly. In addition to provide an updated outline of the fly snoRNA transcriptome, our data highlight that expression of these versatile ncRNAs can be finely regulated.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2015-02-03T16:47:38Z
       
  • Targeted mutagenesis and functional analysis of adipokinetic
           hormone-encoding gene in Drosophila
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Suresh Sajwan , Roman Sidorov , Tereza Stašková , Anna Žaloudíková , Yoko Takasu , Dalibor Kodrík , Michal Zurovec
      Adipokinetic hormones (Akhs) are small peptides (8–10 amino acid [aa] residues long) found in insects that regulate metabolic responses to stress by stimulating catabolic reactions and mobilizing energy stores. We employed Transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) mutagenesis and isolated an Akh 1 mutant carrying a small deletion in the gene that resulted in a truncated peptide; the second aa (Leu) was missing from the functional octapeptide. This null Dmel/Akh mutant is suitable to study Akh function without any effect on the C-terminal associated peptide encoded by the same gene. The mutant flies were fully viable and compared to the control flies had significantly low levels of hemolymph saccharides including trehalose and were resistant to starvation. These characteristics are similar to those obtained from the flies carrying targeted ablation of Akh-expressing neurons (reported earlier). We also found that the Akh 1 mutants are slightly heavy and had a slow metabolic rate. Furthermore, we show that the ectopic expression of Dmel∖Akh reverses the Akh 1 phenotype and restores the wild-type characteristics. Our results show that Akh is an important regulator of metabolic homeostasis in Drosophila.
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      PubDate: 2015-02-03T16:47:38Z
       
  • Down-regulation of a novel ABC transporter gene (Pxwhite) is associated
           with Cry1Ac resistance in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Zhaojiang Guo , Shi Kang , Xun Zhu , Jixing Xia , Qingjun Wu , Shaoli Wang , Wen Xie , Youjun Zhang
      Biopesticides or transgenic crops based on Cry toxins from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) effectively control agricultural insect pests. The sustainable use of Bt biopesticides and Bt crops is threatened, however, by the development of Cry resistance in the target pests. The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), is the first pest that developed resistance to a Bt biopesticide in the field, and a recent study has shown that the resistance of P. xylostella to Cry1Ac is caused by a mutation in an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter gene (ABCC2). In this study, we report that down-regulation of a novel ABC transporter gene (Pxwhite) is associated with Cry1Ac resistance in P. xylostella. The full-length cDNA sequence of Pxwhite was cloned and analyzed. Spatial-temporal expression detection revealed that Pxwhite was expressed in all tissues and developmental stages, and highest expressed in Malpighian tubule tissue and in egg stage. Sequence variation analysis of Pxwhite indicated the absence of constant non-synonymous mutations between susceptible and resistant strains, whereas midgut transcript analysis showed that Pxwhite was remarkably reduced in all resistant strains and further reduced when larvae of the moderately resistant SZ-R strain were subjected to selection with Cry1Ac toxin. Furthermore, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated suppression of Pxwhite gene expression significantly reduced larval susceptibility to Cry1Ac toxin, and genetic linkage analysis confirmed that down-regulation of Pxwhite gene is tightly linked to Cry1Ac resistance in P. xylostella. To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating that Pxwhite gene is involved in Cry1Ac resistance in P. xylostella.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-28T08:53:47Z
       
  • Overview of chitin metabolism enzymes in Manduca sexta: Identification,
           domain organization, phylogenetic analysis and gene expression
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Guillaume Tetreau , Xiaolong Cao , Yun-Ru Chen , Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan , Jiang Haobo , Gary W. Blissard , Michael R. Kanost , Ping Wang
      Chitin is one of the most abundant biomaterials in nature. The biosynthesis and degradation of chitin in insects are complex and dynamically regulated to cope with insect growth and development. Chitin metabolism in insects is known to involve numerous enzymes, including chitin synthases (synthesis of chitin), chitin deacetylases (modification of chitin by deacetylation) and chitinases (degradation of chitin by hydrolysis). In this study, we conducted a genome-wide search and analysis of genes encoding these chitin metabolism enzymes in Manduca sexta. Our analysis confirmed that only two chitin synthases are present in M. sexta as in most other arthropods. Eleven chitin deacetylases (encoded by nine genes) were identified, with at least one representative in each of the five phylogenetic groups that have been described for chitin deacetylases to date. Eleven genes encoding for family 18 chitinases (GH18) were found in the M. sexta genome. Based on the presence of conserved sequence motifs in the catalytic sequences and phylogenetic relationships, two of the M. sexta chitinases did not cluster with any of the current eight phylogenetic groups of chitinases: two new groups were created (groups IX and X) and their characteristics are described. The result of the analysis of the Lepidoptera-specific chitinase-h (group h) is consistent with its proposed bacterial origin. By analyzing chitinases from fourteen species that belong to seven different phylogenetic groups, we reveal that the chitinase genes appear to have evolved sequentially in the arthropod lineage to achieve the current high level of diversity observed in M. sexta. Based on the sequence conservation of the catalytic domains and on their developmental stage- and tissue-specific expression, we propose putative functions for each group in each category of enzymes.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-24T08:30:34Z
       
  • Integrated modeling of protein-coding genes in the Manduca sexta genome
           using RNA-Seq data from the biochemical model insect
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Xiaolong Cao , Haobo Jiang
      The genome sequence of Manduca sexta was recently determined using 454 technology. Cufflinks and MAKER2 were used to establish gene models in the genome assembly based on the RNA-Seq data and other species' sequences. Aided by the extensive RNA-Seq data from 50 tissue samples at various life stages, annotators over the world (including the present authors) have manually confirmed and improved a small percentage of the models after spending months of effort. While such collaborative efforts are highly commendable, many of the predicted genes still have problems which may hamper future research on this insect species. As a biochemical model representing lepidopteran pests, M. sexta has been used extensively to study insect physiological processes for over five decades. In this work, we assembled Manduca datasets Cufflinks 3.0, Trinity 4.0, and Oases 4.0 to assist the manual annotation efforts and development of Official Gene Set (OGS) 2.0. To further improve annotation quality, we developed methods to evaluate gene models in the MAKER2, Cufflinks, Oases and Trinity assemblies and selected the best ones to constitute MCOT 1.0 after thorough crosschecking. MCOT 1.0 has 18,089 genes encoding 31,666 proteins: 32.8% match OGS 2.0 models perfectly or near perfectly, 11,747 differ considerably, and 29.5% are absent in OGS 2.0. Future automation of this process is anticipated to greatly reduce human efforts in generating comprehensive, reliable models of structural genes in other genome projects where extensive RNA-Seq data are available.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-24T08:30:34Z
       
  • Two chitinase 5 genes from Locusta migratoria: molecular characteristics
           and functional differentiation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Daqi Li , Jianqin Zhang , Yan Wang , Xiaojian Liu , Enbo Ma , Yi Suna , Sheng Li , Kun Yan Zhu , Jianzhen Zhang
      The duplication of chitinase 5 (Cht5) into two to five different genes has been reported only in mosquito species to date. Here, we report the duplication of Cht5 genes (LmCht5-1 and LmCht5-2) in the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria). Both LmCht5-1 (505 aa) and LmCht5-2 (492 aa) possess a signal peptide and a catalytic domain with four conserved motifs, but only LmCht5-1 contains a chitin-binding domain. Structural and phylogenetic analyses suggest that LmCht5-1 is orthologous to other insect Cht5 genes, whereas LmCht5-2 might be newly duplicated. Both LmCht5 genes were expressed in all tested tissues with LmCht5-1 highly expressed in hindgut and LmCht5-2 highly expressed in integument, foregut, hindgut and fat bodies. From the fourth-instar nymphs to the adults, LmCht5-1 and LmCht5-2 showed similar developmental expression patterns with transcript peaks prior to each nymphal molting, suggesting that their expression levels are similarly regulated. Treatment with 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E; the most active molting hormone) and reducing expression of EcR (ecdysone receptor gene) by RNAi increased and decreased expression of both LmCht5 genes, respectively, indicating that both genes are responsive to 20E. Although transcript level of LmCht5-2 is generally 10-fold higher than that of LmCht5-1, RNAi-mediated suppression of LmCht5-1 transcript led to severe molting defects and lethality, but such effects were not seen with RNAi of LmCht5-2, suggesting that the newly duplicated LmCht5-2 is not essential for development and survivorship of the locust.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-24T08:30:34Z
       
  • Biochemical characterization of maintenance DNA methyltransferase DNMT-1
           from silkworm, Bombyx mori
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Takumi Mitsudome , Hiroaki Mon , Jian Xu , Zhiqing Li , Jae Man Lee , Anandrao Ashok Patil , Atsushi Masuda , Kazuhiro Iiyama , Daisuke Morokuma , Takahiro Kusakabe
      DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism involved in gene expression of vertebrates and invertebrates. In general, DNA methylation profile is established by de novo DNA methyltransferases (DNMT-3A, -3B) and maintainance DNA methyltransferase (DNMT-1). DNMT-1 has a strong substrate preference for hemimethylated DNA over the unmethylated one. Because the silkworm genome lacks an apparent homologue of de novo DNMT, it is still unclear that how silkworm chromosome establishes and maintains its DNA methylation profile. As the first step to unravel this enigma, we purified recombinant BmDNMT-1 using baculovirus expression system and characterized its DNA-binding and DNA methylation activity. We found that the BmDNMT-1 preferentially methylates hemimethylated DNA despite binding to both unmethylated and hemimethylated DNA. Interestingly, BmDNMT-1 formed a complex with DNA in the presence or absence of methyl group donor, S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) and the AdoMet-dependent complex formation was facilitated by Zn2+ and Mn2+. Our results provide clear evidence that BmDNMT-1 retained the function as maintenance DNMT but its sensitivity to metal ions is different from mammalian DNMT-1.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-24T08:30:34Z
       
  • Structural features, evolutionary relationships, and transcriptional
           regulation of C-type lectin-domain proteins in Manduca sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Xiang-Jun Rao , Xiaolong Cao , Yan He , Yingxia Hu , Xiufeng Zhang , Yun-Ru Chen , Gary Blissard , Michael R. Kanost , Xiao-Qiang Yu , Haobo Jiang
      C-type lectins (CTLs) are a large family of Ca2+-dependent carbohydrate-binding proteins recognizing various glycoconjugates and functioning primarily in immunity and cell adhesion. We have identified 34 CTLDP (for CTL-domain protein) genes in the Manduca sexta genome, which encode proteins with one to three CTL domains. CTL-S1 through S9 (S for simple) have one or three CTL domains; immulectin-1 through 19 have two CTL domains; CTL-X1 through X6 (X for complex) have one or two CTL domains along with other structural modules. Nine simple CTLs and seventeen immulectins have a signal peptide and are likely extracellular. Five complex CTLs have both an N-terminal signal peptide and a C-terminal transmembrane region, indicating that they are membrane anchored. Immulectins exist broadly in Lepidoptera and lineage-specific gene duplications have generated three clusters of fourteen genes in the M. sexta genome, thirteen of which have similar expression patterns. In contrast to the family expansion, CTL-S1∼S6, S8, and X1∼X6 have 1:1 orthologs in at least four lepidopteran/dipteran/coleopteran species, suggestive of conserved functions in a wide range of holometabolous insects. Structural modeling suggests the key residues for Ca2+-dependent or independent binding of certain carbohydrates by CTL domains. Promoter analysis identified putative κB motifs in eighteen of the CTL genes, which did not have a strong correlation with immune inducibility in the mRNA or protein levels. Together, the gene identification, sequence comparisons, structure modeling, phylogenetic analysis, and expression profiling establish a solid foundation for future studies of M. sexta CTL-domain proteins.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Sequence conservation, phylogenetic relationships, and expression profiles
           of nondigestive serine proteases and serine protease homologs in Manduca
           sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Xiaolong Cao , Yan He , Yingxia Hu , Xiufeng Zhang , Yang Wang , Zhen Zou , Yunru Chen , Gary W. Blissard , Michael R. Kanost , Haobo Jiang
      Serine protease (SP) and serine protease homolog (SPH) genes in insects encode a large family of proteins involved in digestion, development, immunity, and other processes. While 68 digestive SPs and their close homologs are reported in a companion paper (Kuwar et al., in preparation), we have identified 125 other SPs/SPHs in Manduca sexta and studied their structure, evolution, and expression. Fifty-two of them contain cystine-stabilized structures for molecular recognition, including clip, LDLa, Sushi, Wonton, TSP, CUB, Frizzle, and SR domains. There are nineteen groups of genes evolved from relatively recent gene duplication and sequence divergence. Thirty-five SPs and seven SPHs contain 1, 2 or 5 clip domains. Multiple sequence alignment and molecular modeling of the 54 clip domains have revealed structural diversity of these regulatory modules. Sequence comparison with their homologs in Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae and Tribolium castaneum allows us to classify them into five subfamilies: A are SPHs with 1 or 5 group-3 clip domains, B are SPs with 1 or 2 group-2 clip domains, C, D1 and D2 are SPs with a single clip domain in group-1a, 1b and 1c, respectively. We have classified into six categories the 125 expression profiles of SP-related proteins in fat body, brain, midgut, Malpighian tubule, testis, and ovary at different stages, suggesting that they participate in various physiological processes. Through RNA-Seq-based gene annotation and expression profiling, as well as intragenomic sequence comparisons, we have established a framework of information for future biochemical research of nondigestive SPs and SPHs in this model species.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Tweedle cuticular protein BmCPT1 is involved in innate immunity by
           participating in recognition of Escherichia coli
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 November 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Jiubo Liang , Ting Wang , Zhonghuai Xiang , Ningjia He
      Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran insect, is one of the earliest models for pattern recognition of Gram-negative bacteria, which may induce the IMD pathway for production of antibacterial peptides. So far, several recognition proteins have been reported in B. mori. However, the connection between pattern recognition of Gram negative bacteria and activation of BmRelish1, a transcription factor controlled by the IMD pathway remains largely unknown. In the present study, we identify BmCPT1, a cuticle protein bearing a Tweedle domain. Its gene expression is co-regulated by NF-kappaB and juvenile hormone signals. BmCPT1 is induced by Escherichia coli in fat bodies and hemocytes, but is constitutively expressed in the epidermis. In vitro binding assays indicate that BmCPT1 protein recognizes and binds to E. coli peptidoglycan. Post-transcriptionally modified BmCPT1 in the hemolymph binds to E. coli cells through interactions with peptidoglycan recognition protein-5 (BmPGRP5) and lipopolysaccharide binding protein (BmLBP). Transgenic overexpression of BmCPT1 causes the upregulated expression of BmRelish1 and clear induction of two gloverin genes. Therefore, BmCPT1 may work along with BmPGRP-S5 and BmLBP to recognize E. coli in the hemolymph and indirectly activate BmRelish1 to induce antimicrobial peptide synthesis.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Site-specific, TALENs-mediated transformation of Bombyx mori
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Yueqiang Wang , Anjiang Tan , Jun Xu , Zhiqian Li , Baosheng Zeng , Lin Ling , Lang You , Yazhou Chen , Anthony A. James , Yongping Huang
      Transposon-based genetic transformation has facilitated insect functional genomics and new strategies of pest management. However, there is a need for alternative, site-specific approaches to overcome limitations of random integration (and associated position-effects) and potential instability of inserted transgenes. Here we describe a transposon-free, site-specific genetic transformation system mediated by transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran model insect. We successfully established a site-specific transgenic system with comparable transformation efficiency to transposon-based genetic transformation through microinjection of TALENs mRNA targeting the BmBLOS2 locus and a linearizable donor plasmid encoding an expression cassette of the DsRed2 red fluorescent protein. This system provides a valuable approach for insect transgenesis and will enable future functional gene analysis and generate novel applications in agricultural and medical insect pest-management technologies.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Acp70A regulates Drosophila pheromones through juvenile hormone induction
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 56
      Author(s): Gwénaëlle Bontonou , Haq Abdul Shaik , Béatrice Denis , Claude Wicker-Thomas
      Mated Drosophila melanogaster females show a decrease in mating receptivity, enhanced ovogenesis, egg-laying and activation of juvenile hormone (JH) production. Components in the male seminal fluid, especially the sex peptide ACP70A stimulate these responses in females. Here we demonstrate that ACP70A is involved in the down-regulation of female sex pheromones and hydrocarbon (CHC) production. Drosophila G10 females which express Acp70A under the control of the vitellogenin gene yp1, produced fewer pheromones and CHCs. There was a dose-dependent relationship between the number of yp1-Acp70A alleles and the reduction of these compounds. Similarly, a decrease in CHCs and diene pheromones was observed in da > Acp70A flies that ubiquitously overexpress Acp70A. Quantitative-PCR experiments showed that the expression of Acp70A in G10 females was the same as in control males and 5 times lower than in da > Acp70A females. Three to four days after injection with 4.8 pmol ACP70A, females from two different strains, exhibited a significant decrease in CHC and pheromone levels. Similar phenotypes were observed in ACP70A injected flies whose ACP70A receptor expression was knocked-down by RNAi and in flies which overexpress ACP70A N-terminal domain. These results suggest that the action of ACP70A on CHCs could be a consequence of JH activation. Female flies exposed to a JH analog had reduced amounts of pheromones, whereas genetic ablation of the corpora allata or knock-down of the JH receptor Met, resulted in higher amounts of both CHCs and pheromonal dienes. Mating had negligible effects on CHC levels, however pheromone amounts were slightly reduced 3 and 4 days post copulation. The physiological significance of ACP70A on female pheromone synthesis is discussed.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Dynamics of polycomb proteins-mediated histone modifications during UV
           irradiation-induced DNA damage
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Zhiqing Li , Hiroaki Mon , Hitoshi Mitsunobu , Li Zhu , Jian Xu , Jae Man Lee , Takahiro Kusakabe
      Polycomb group (PcG) complexes are known to be chromatin modifiers and transcriptional repressors. In this work, we reported that the histone-modifying PcG complexes are able to participate in the repair process of ultraviolet (UV)-induced DNA lesions in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. The silkworm cells with depletion of PcG genes showed hypersensitive to UV–C irradiation and increased inhibition of cell proliferation. Interestingly, an SQ site in the silkworm-human chimeric H2A protein synthesized here was phosphorylated rapidly upon UV–C exposure, which could be used as a marker for monitoring the response to DNA damage in silkworm cells. Under these UV–C irradiated conditions, we found that PRC1-mediated ubiquitylation of H2AX, but not of H2AZ, were decreased and this deubiquitylation was independent of its phosphorylation event. In contrast, UV–C irradiation induced the increase of trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me3), a mark of transcriptionally silent chromatin catalyzed by another PcG subcomplex, PRC2. Collectively, we provided the first evidence on chromatin remodeling in response to UV–C lesion in silkworm and revealed another layer role for PcG complexes-mediated histone modifications in contributing to creating an open chromatin structure for the efficient repair of DNA damages.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • The vacuolar protein sorting genes in insects: A comparative
           genome view
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Zhaofei Li , Gary Blissard
      In eukaryotic cells, regulated vesicular trafficking is critical for directing protein transport and for recycling and degradation of membrane lipids and proteins. Through carefully regulated transport vesicles, the endomembrane system performs a large and important array of dynamic cellular functions while maintaining the integrity of the cellular membrane system. Genetic studies in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have identified approximately 50 vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) genes involved in vesicle trafficking, and most of these genes are also characterized in mammals. The VPS proteins form distinct functional complexes, which include complexes known as ESCRT, retromer, CORVET, HOPS, GARP, and PI3K-III. Little is known about the orthologs of VPS proteins in insects. Here, with the newly annotated Manduca sexta genome, we carried out genomic comparative analysis of VPS proteins in yeast, humans, and 13 sequenced insect genomes representing the Orders Hymenoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Phthiraptera, Lepidoptera, and Coleoptera. Amino acid sequence alignments and domain/motif structure analyses reveal that most of the components of ESCRT, retromer, CORVET, HOPS, GARP, and PI3K-III are evolutionarily conserved across yeast, insects, and humans. However, in contrast to the VPS gene expansions observed in the human genome, only four VPS genes (VPS13, VPS16, VPS33, and VPS37) were expanded in the six insect Orders. Additionally, VPS2 was expanded only in species from Phthiraptera, Lepidoptera, and Coleoptera. These studies provide a baseline for understanding the evolution of vesicular trafficking across yeast, insect, and human genomes, and also provide a basis for further addressing specific functional roles of VPS proteins in insects.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55




      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • The cyclic keto-enol insecticide spirotetramat inhibits insect and spider
           mite acetyl-CoA carboxylases by interfering with the carboxyltransferase
           partial reaction
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Peter Lümmen , Jahangir Khajehali , Kai Luther , Thomas Van Leeuwen
      Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) catalyzes the committed and rate-limiting step in fatty acid biosynthesis. The two partial reactions, carboxylation of biotin followed by carboxyl transfer to the acceptor acetyl-CoA, are performed by two separate domains in animal ACCs. The cyclic keto-enol insecticides and acaricides have been proposed to inhibit insect ACCs. In this communication, we show that the enol derivative of the cylic keto-enol insecticide spirotetramat inhibited ACCs partially purified from the insect species Myzus persicae and Spodoptera frugiperda, as well as the spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) ACC which was expressed in insect cells using a recombinant baculovirus. Steady-state kinetic analysis revealed competitive inhibition with respect to the carboxyl acceptor, acetyl-CoA, indicating that spirotetramat-enol bound to the carboxyltransferase domain of ACC. Interestingly, inhibition with respect to the biotin carboxylase substrate ATP was uncompetitive. Amino acid residues in the carboxyltransferase domains of plant ACCs are important for binding of established herbicidal inhibitors. Mutating the spider mite ACC at the homologous positions, for example L1736 to either isoleucine or alanine, and A1739 to either valine or serine, did not affect the inhibition of the spider mite ACC by spirotetramat-enol. These results indicated different binding modes of the keto-enols and the herbicidal chemical families.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Expression and evolution of hexamerins from the tobacco hornworm, Manduca
           sexta, and other Lepidoptera
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Thorsten Burmester
      Hexamerins are large hemolymph-proteins that accumulate during the late larval stages of insects. Hexamerins have emerged from hemocyanin, but have lost the ability to bind oxygen. Hexamerins are mainly considered as storage proteins for non-feeding stages, but may also have other functions, e.g. in cuticle formation, transport and immune response. The genome of the hornworm Manduca sexta harbors six hexamerin genes. Two of them code for arylphorins (Msex2.01690, Msex2.15504) and two genes correspond to a methionine-rich hexamerin (Msex2.10735) and a moderately methionine-rich hexamerin (Msex2.01694), respectively. Two other genes do not correspond to any known hexamerin and distantly resemble the arylphorins (Msex2.01691, Msex2.01693). Five of the six hexamerin genes are clustered within ∼45 kb on scaffold 00023, which shows conserved synteny in various lepidopteran genomes. The methionine-rich hexamerin gene is located at a distinct site. M. sexta and other Lepidoptera have lost the riboflavin-binding hexamerin. With the exception of Msex2.01691, which displays low mRNA levels throughout the life cycle, all hexamerins are most highly expressed during pre-wandering phase of the 5th larval instar of M. sexta, supporting their role as storage proteins. Notably, Msex2.01691 is most highly expressed in the brain, suggesting a divergent function. Phylogenetic analyses showed that hexamerin evolution basically follows insect systematics. Lepidoptera display an unparalleled diversity of hexamerins, which exceeds that of other hexapod orders. In contrast to previous analyses, the lepidopteran hexamerins were found monophyletic. Five distinct types of hexamerins have been identified in this order, which differ in terms of amino acid composition and evolutionary history: i. the arylphorins, which are rich in aromatic amino acids (∼20% phenylalanine and tyrosine), ii. the distantly related arylphorin-like hexamerins, iii. the methionine-rich hexamerins, iv. the moderately methionine rich hexamerins, and v. the riboflavin-binding hexamerins.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Analysis of chitin-binding proteins from Manduca sexta provides new
           insights into evolution of peritrophin A-type chitin-binding domains in
           insects
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Guillaume Tetreau , Neal T. Dittmer , Xiaolong Cao , Sinu Agrawal , Yun-Ru Chen , Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan , Jiang Haobo , Gary W. Blissard , Michael R. Kanost , Ping Wang
      In insects, chitin is a major structural component of the cuticle and the peritrophic membrane (PM). In nature, chitin is always associated with proteins among which chitin-binding proteins (CBPs) are the most important for forming, maintaining and regulating the functions of these extracellular structures. In this study, a genome-wide search for genes encoding proteins with ChtBD2-type (peritrophin A-type) chitin-binding domains (CBDs) was conducted. A total of 53 genes encoding 56 CBPs were identified, including 15 CPAP1s (cuticular proteins analogous to peritrophins with 1 CBD), 11 CPAP3s (CPAPs with 3 CBDs) and 17 PMPs (PM proteins) with a variable number of CBDs, which are structural components of cuticle or of the PM. CBDs were also identified in enzymes of chitin metabolism including 6 chitinases and 7 chitin deacetylases encoded by 6 and 5 genes, respectively. RNA-seq analysis confirmed that PMP and CPAP genes have differential spatial expression patterns. The expression of PMP genes is midgut-specific, while CPAP genes are widely expressed in different cuticle forming tissues. Phylogenetic analysis of CBDs of proteins in insects belonging to different orders revealed that CPAP1s from different species constitute a separate family with 16 different groups, including 6 new groups identified in this study. The CPAP3s are clustered into a separate family of 7 groups present in all insect orders. Altogether, they reveal that duplication events of CBDs in CPAP1s and CPAP3s occurred prior to the evolutionary radiation of insect species. In contrast to the CPAPs, all CBDs from individual PMPs are generally clustered and distinct from other PMPs in the same species in phylogenetic analyses, indicating that the duplication of CBDs in each of these PMPs occurred after divergence of insect species. Phylogenetic analysis of these three CBP families showed that the CBDs in CPAP1s form a clearly separate family, while those found in PMPs and CPAP3s were clustered together in the phylogenetic tree. For chitinases and chitin deacetylases, most of phylogenetic analysis performed with the CBD sequences resulted in similar clustering to the one obtained by using catalytic domain sequences alone, suggesting that CBDs were incorporated into these enzymes and evolved in tandem with the catalytic domains before the diversification of different insect orders. Based on these results, the evolution of CBDs in insect CBPs is discussed to provide a new insight into the CBD sequence structure and diversity, and their evolution and expression in insects.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 57




      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Identification and functional characterization of FGLamide-related
           allatostatin receptor in Rhodnius prolixus
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 57
      Author(s): Meet Zandawala , Ian Orchard
      FGLamide-related ASTs (FGLa/ASTs) are a family of brain/gut peptides with numerous physiological roles, including inhibition of juvenile hormone (JH) biosynthesis by the corpora allata and inhibition of visceral muscle contraction. FGLa/ASTs mediate their effects by binding to a rhodopsin-like G-protein coupled receptor that is evolutionarily related to the vertebrate galanin receptor. Here we determine the cDNA sequence encoding FGLa/AST receptor (FGLa/AST-R) from the Chagas disease vector, Rhodnius prolixus (Rhopr-FGLa/AST-R), determine its spatial expression pattern using quantitative PCR and functionally characterize the receptor using a heterologous assay. Our expression analysis indicates that Rhopr-FGLa/AST-R is highly expressed in the central nervous system. The receptor is also expressed in various peripheral tissues including the dorsal vessel, midgut, hindgut and reproductive tissues of both males and females, suggesting a role in processes associated with feeding and reproduction. The possible involvement of Rhopr-FGLa/ASTs in the inhibition of JH biosynthesis is also implicated due to presence of the receptor transcript in the R. prolixus corpora cardiaca/corpora allata complex. The functional assay showed that various Rhopr-FGLa/ASTs activate the receptor, with EC50 values for the response in the nanomolar range. Moreover, Rhopr-FGLa/AST-R can couple with Gq alpha subunits and cause an increase in intracellular calcium concentration. Lastly, we tested various FGLa/AST analogs in our heterologous assay. These compounds also activated the receptor and thus have the potential to serve as insect growth regulators and aid in pest control.


      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • LIM-homeodomain transcription factor Awh is a key component activating all
           three fibroin genes, fibH, fibL and fhx, in the silk gland of the
           silkworm, Bombyx mori
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 56
      Author(s): Mai Kimoto , Takuya Tsubota , Keiro Uchino , Hideki Sezutsu , Shigeharu Takiya
      In the silkworm Bombyx mori, three fibroin genes, fibroin-heavy-chain (fibH), fibroin-light-chain (fibL) and fibrohexamerin (fhx), are coexpressed only in the posterior silk gland (PSG) cells, while the sericin genes encoding silk glue proteins are expressed in the middle silk gland (MSG) cells. Silk gland factor-2 (SGF-2) is a PSG-specific activator complex of fibH, composed of a LIM-homeodomain protein, Awh, and its cofactors, Ldb and Lcaf. We investigated whether SGF-2 can activate other fibroin genes using transgenic silkworms. The genes for Ldb and Lcaf were expressed ubiquitously in various tissues, while the gene for Awh was expressed strictly specific in PSG of the wild type silkworms. Misexpression of Awh in transgenic silkworms induced ectopic expression of fibL and fhx as well as fibH in MSG. Coincidently with the induction of fibL and fhx by Awh, binding of SGF-2 to the promoter of fibL and fhx was detected in vitro, and SGF-2 binds directly to the fhx core promoter. Ectopic expression of the fibroin genes was observed at high levels in the middle part of MSG. Moreover, fibL and fhx were induced in the anterior silk gland (ASG) of the transgenic silkworms, but fibH was not. These results indicate that Awh is a key activator of all three fibroin genes, and the activity is probably regulated in conjunction with additional factors.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Pharmacological and signalling properties of a D2-like dopamine receptor
           (Dop3) in Tribolium castaneum
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 56
      Author(s): Heleen Verlinden , Rut Vleugels , Rik Verdonck , Elodie Urlacher , Jozef Vanden Broeck , Alison Mercer
      Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system of vertebrates and invertebrates. Despite their evolutionary distance, striking parallels exist between deuterostomian and protostomian dopaminergic systems. In both, signalling is achieved via a complement of functionally distinct dopamine receptors. In this study, we investigated the sequence, pharmacology and tissue distribution of a D2-like dopamine receptor from the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum (TricaDop3) and compared it with related G protein-coupled receptors in other invertebrate species. The TricaDop3 receptor-encoding cDNA shows considerable sequence similarity with members of the Dop3 receptor class. Real time qRT-PCR showed high expression in both the central brain and the optic lobes, consistent with the role of dopamine as neurotransmitter. Activation of TricaDop3 expressed in mammalian cells increased intracellular Ca2+ signalling and decreased NKH-477 (a forskolin analogue)-stimulated cyclic AMP levels in a dose-dependent manner. We studied the pharmacological profile of the TricaDop3 receptor and demonstrated that the synthetic vertebrate dopamine receptor agonists, 2 – amino- 6,7 – dihydroxy – 1,2,3,4 – tetrahydronaphthalene hydrobromide (6,7-ADTN) and bromocriptine acted as agonists. Methysergide was the most potent of the antagonists tested and showed competitive inhibition in the presence of dopamine. This study offers important information on the Dop3 receptor from Tribolium castaneum that will facilitate functional analyses of dopamine receptors in insects and other invertebrates.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Chitin is a necessary component to maintain the barrier function of the
           peritrophic matrix in the insect midgut
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 56
      Author(s): Marco Kelkenberg , Jothini Odman-Naresh , Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan , Hans Merzendorfer
      In most insects, the peritrophic matrix (PM) partitions the midgut into different digestive compartments, and functions as a protective barrier against abrasive particles and microbial infections. In a previous study we demonstrated that certain PM proteins are essential in maintaining the PM's barrier function and establishing a gradient of PM permeability from the anterior to the posterior part of the midgut which facilitates digestion (Agrawal et al., 2014). In this study, we focused on the effects of a reduction in chitin content on PM permeability in larvae of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Oral administration of the chitin synthesis inhibitor diflubenzuron (DFB) only partially reduced chitin content of the larval PM even at high concentrations. We observed no nutritional effects, as larval growth was unaffected and neutral lipids were not depleted from the fat body. However, the metamorphic molt was disrupted and the insects died at the pharate pupal stage, presumably due to DFB's effect on cuticle formation. RNAi to knock-down expression of the gene encoding chitin synthase 2 in T. castaneum (TcCHS-2) caused a complete loss of chitin in the PM. Larval growth was significantly reduced, and the fat body was depleted of neutral lipids. In situ PM permeability assays monitoring the distribution of FITC dextrans after DFB exposure or RNAi for TcCHS-2 revealed that PM permeability was increased in both cases. RNAi for TcCHS-2, however, led to a higher permeation of the PM by FITC dextrans than DFB treatment even at high doses. Similar effects were observed when the chitin content was reduced by feeding DFB to adult yellow fever mosquitos, Aedes aegypti. We demonstrate that the presence of chitin is necessary for maintaining the PM's barrier function in insects. It seems that the insecticidal effects of DFB are mediated by the disruption of cuticle synthesis during the metamorphic molt rather than by interfering with larval nutrition. However, as DFB clearly affects PM permeability, it may be suitable to increase the efficiency of pesticides targeting the midgut.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 56




      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Syntaxin 1A modulates the sexual maturity rate and progeny egg size
           related to phase changes in locusts
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 56
      Author(s): Qianquan Chen , Jing He , Chuan Ma , Dan Yu , Le Kang
      The migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) exhibits clear phenotypic plasticity depending on its population density. Previous studies have explored the molecular mechanisms of body colour, behavior, immunity, and metabolism between high population density gregarious (G) and low population density solitarious (S) locusts. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying differences in reproductive traits remain unknown. G locusts reach sexual maturation much faster and lay larger eggs compared with S locusts. The traits of G locusts decreased significantly with isolation, whereas those of S locusts increased with crowding. Analysis of gene expression in female adults indicated that syntaxin 1A (Syx1A) was expressed significantly higher in G locusts than in S locusts. After silencing Syx1A expression in G locusts by RNA interference (RNAi), their sexual maturity rate and progeny egg size changed towards those of S locusts. Similarly, increment in the traits of S locusts with crowding was blocked by Syx1A interference. Changes in the traits were also confirmed by decrease in the level of vitellogenin, which is regulated by Syx1A. In conclusion, plasticity of the sexual maturity rate and progeny egg size of G and S locusts, which is beneficial for locusts to adapt to environmental changes, is regulated by Syx1A.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Annotation and expression analysis of cuticular proteins from the tobacco
           hornworm, Manduca sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Neal T. Dittmer , Guillaume Tetreau , Xiaolong Cao , Haobo Jiang , Ping Wang , Michael R. Kanost
      The insect cuticle is a unique material that covers the exterior of the animal as well as lining the foregut, hindgut, and tracheae. It offers protection from predators and desiccation, defines body shape, and serves as an attachment site for internal organs and muscle. It has demonstrated remarkable variations in hardness, flexibility and elasticity, all the while being light weight, which allows for ease of movement and flight. It is composed primarily of chitin, proteins, catecholamines, and lipids. Proteomic analyses of cuticle from different life stages and species of insects has allowed for a more detailed examination of the protein content and how it relates to cuticle mechanical properties. It is now recognized that several groups of cuticular proteins exist and that they can be classified according to conserved amino acid sequence motifs. We have annotated the genome of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, for genes that encode putative cuticular proteins that belong to seven different groups: proteins with a Rebers and Riddiford motif (CPR), proteins analogous to peritrophins (CPAP), proteins with a tweedle motif (CPT), proteins with a 44 amino acid motif (CPF), proteins that are CPF-like (CPFL), proteins with an 18 amino acid motif (18 aa), and proteins with two to three copies of a C-X5-C motif (CPCFC). In total we annotated 248 genes, of which 207 belong to the CPR family, the most for any insect genome annotated to date. Additionally, we discovered new members of the CPAP family and determined that orthologous genes are present in other insects. We established orthology between the M. sexta and Bombyx mori genes and identified duplication events that occurred after separation of the two species. Finally, we utilized 52 RNAseq libraries to ascertain gene expression profiles that revealed commonalities and differences between different tissues and developmental stages.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Transcriptomic response of Manduca sexta immune tissues to parasitization
           by the bracovirus associated wasp Cotesia congregata
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Germain Chevignon , Sébastien Cambier , Corinne Da Silva , Julie Poulain , Jean-Michel Drezen , Elisabeth Huguet , Sébastien Moreau
      During oviposition, Cotesia congregata parasitoid wasps inject into their host, Manduca sexta, some biological factors such as venom, ovarian fluid and a symbiotic polydnavirus (PDV) named Cotesia congregata bracovirus (CcBV). During parasitism, complex interactions occur between wasp-derived factors and host targets that lead to important modifications in host physiology. In particular, the immune response leading to wasp egg encapsulation is inhibited allowing wasp survival. To date, the regulation of host genes during the interaction had only been studied for a limited number of genes. In this study, we analysed the global impact of parasitism on host gene regulation 24 h post oviposition by high throughput 454 transcriptomic analyses of two tissues known to be involved in the host immune response (hemocytes and fat body). To identify specific effects of parasitism on host transcription at this time point, transcriptomes were obtained from non-treated and parasitized larvae, and also from larvae injected with heat-killed bacteria and double stimulated larvae that were parasitized prior to bacterial challenge. Results showed that, immune challenge by bacteria leads to induction of certain antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes in M. sexta larvae whether they were parasitized or not prior to bacterial challenge. These results show that at 24 h post oviposition pathways leading to expression of AMP genes are not all inactivated suggesting wasps are in an antiseptic environment. In contrast, at this time point genes involved in phenoloxidase activation and cellular immune responses were globally down-regulated after parasitism in accordance with the observed inhibition of wasp egg encapsulation.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Positive feedback regulation of prothoracicotropic hormone secretion by
           ecdysteroid – A mechanism that determines the timing of
           metamorphosis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Akira Mizoguchi , Manabu Kamimura , Makoto Kiuchi , Hiroshi Kataoka
      When insect larvae have fully grown, prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) is released from the brain, triggering the initiation of metamorphic development through stimulation of ecdysteroid secretion by the prothoracic glands. The present study analyzes the mechanism that regulates the occurrence of this PTTH surge. In the silkworm Bombyx mori, the PTTH surge occurs on day 6 of the fifth instar and is preceded by a small rise in hemolymph ecdysteroid titer, which occurs late on day 5. We therefore hypothesized that this rise of ecdysteroid titer is involved in the induction of the PTTH surge. To test this hypothesis, two experiments were conducted. First, a small amount of 20-hydroxyecdysone was injected on day 4, two days before the expected day of the PTTH surge, to simulate the small rise in hemolymph ecdysteroid titer on day 5. This injection led to a precocious surge of PTTH the next day. Next, the hemolymph ecdysteroid titer on day 5 was artificially lowered by injecting ecdysteroid-22-oxidase, which inactivates 20-hydroxyecdysone. After this treatment, the PTTH surge did not occur on day 6 in 80% of the animals. These results indicate that a small rise of the hemolymph ecdysteroid titer plays a critical role in the induction of the PTTH surge. Since basal ecdysteroidogenic activity of the prothoracic glands increases with larval growth, a circulating level of ecdysteroids may convey information about larval maturity to the brain, to coordinate larval growth and metamorphosis. This is the first report in invertebrates to demonstrate positive feedback regulation of the surge of a tropic hormone by a downstream steroid hormone.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Glandular β-glucosidases in juvenile Chrysomelina leaf beetles
           support the evolution of a host-plant-dependent chemical defense
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Peter Rahfeld , Wiebke Haeger , Roy Kirsch , Gerhard Pauls , Tobias Becker , Eva Schulze , Natalie Wielsch , Ding Wang , Marco Groth , Wolfgang Brandt , Wilhelm Boland , Antje Burse
      Plant-feeding insects are spread across the entire plant kingdom. Because they chew externally on leaves, leaf beetle of the subtribe Chrysomelina sensu stricto are constantly exposed to life-threatening predators and parasitoids. To counter these pressures, the juveniles repel their enemies by displaying glandular secretions that contain defensive compounds. These repellents can be produced either de novo (iridoids) or by using plant-derived precursors. The autonomous production of iridoids pre-dates the evolution of phytochemical-based defense strategies. Both strategies include hydrolysis of the secreted non-toxic glycosides in the defensive exudates. By combining in vitro as well as in vivo experiments, we show that iridoid de novo producing as well as sequestering species rely on secreted β-glucosidases to cleave the pre-toxins. Our phylogenetic analyses support a common origin of chrysomeline β-glucosidases. The kinetic parameters of these β-glucosidases demonstrated substrate selectivity which reflects the adaptation of Chrysomelina sensu stricto to the chemistry of their hosts during the course of evolution. However, the functional studies also showed that the broad substrate selectivity allows building a chemical defense, which is dependent on the host plant, but does not lead to an “evolutionary dead end”.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Altered tyrosine metabolism and melanization complex formation underlie
           the developmental regulation of melanization in Manduca sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Kevin D. Clark
      The study of hemolymph melanization in Lepidoptera has contributed greatly to our understanding of its role in insect immunity. Manduca sexta in particular has been an excellent model for identifying the myriad components of the phenoloxidase (PO) cascade and their activation through exposure to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). However, in a process that is not well characterized or understood, some insect species rapidly melanize upon wounding in the absence of added PAMPs. We sought to better understand this process by measuring wound-induced melanization in four insect species. Of these, only plasma from late 5th instar M. sexta was unable to melanize, even though each contained millimolar levels of the putative melanization substrate tyrosine (Tyr). Analysis of Tyr metabolism using substrate-free plasmas (SFPs) from late 5th instar larvae of each species showed that only M. sexta SFP failed to melanize with added Tyr. In contrast, early instar M. sexta larvae exhibited wound-induced melanization and Tyr metabolism, and SFPs prepared from these larvae melanized in the presence of Tyr. Early instar melanization in M. sexta was associated with the formation of a high mass protein complex that could be observed enzymatically in native gels or by PO-specific immunoblotting. Topical treatment of M. sexta larvae with the juvenile hormone (JH) analog methoprene delayed pupation and increased melanizing ability late in the instar, thus linking development with immunity. Our results demonstrate that melanization rates are highly variable in Lepidoptera, and that developmental stage can be an important factor for melanization within a species. More specifically, we show that the physiological substrate for melanization in M. sexta is Tyr, and that melanization is associated with the formation of a PO-containing protein complex.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Digestive peptidase evolution in holometabolous insects led to a divergent
           group of enzymes in Lepidoptera
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Renata O. Dias , Allegra Via , Marcelo M. Brandão , Anna Tramontano , Marcio C. Silva-Filho
      Trypsins and chymotrypsins are well-studied serine peptidases that cleave peptide bonds at the carboxyl side of basic and hydrophobic l-amino acids, respectively. These enzymes are largely responsible for the digestion of proteins. Three primary processes regulate the activity of these peptidases: secretion, precursor (zymogen) activation and substrate-binding site recognition. Here, we present a detailed phylogenetic analysis of trypsins and chymotrypsins in three orders of holometabolous insects and reveal divergent characteristics of Lepidoptera enzymes in comparison with those of Coleoptera and Diptera. In particular, trypsin subsite S1 was more hydrophilic in Lepidoptera than in Coleoptera and Diptera, whereas subsites S2–S4 were more hydrophobic, suggesting different substrate preferences. Furthermore, Lepidoptera displayed a lineage-specific trypsin group belonging only to the Noctuidae family. Evidence for facilitated trypsin auto-activation events were also observed in all the insect orders studied, with the characteristic zymogen activation motif complementary to the trypsin active site. In contrast, insect chymotrypsins did not seem to have a peculiar evolutionary history with respect to their mammal counterparts. Overall, our findings suggest that the need for fast digestion allowed holometabolous insects to evolve divergent groups of peptidases with high auto-activation rates, and highlight that the evolution of trypsins led to a most diverse group of enzymes in Lepidoptera.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • GC/MS-based metabolomic studies reveal key roles of glycine
           in regulating silk synthesis in silkworm, Bombyx mori
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 57
      Author(s): Quanmei Chen , Xinyu Liu , Ping Zhao , Yanhui Sun , Xinjie Zhao , Ying Xiong , Guowang Xu , Qingyou Xia
      Metabolic profiling of silkworm, especially the factors that affect silk synthesis at the metabolic level, is little known. Herein, metabolomic method based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was applied to identify key metabolic changes in silk synthesis deficient silkworms. Forty-six differential metabolites were identified in Nd group with the defect of silk synthesis. Significant changes in the levels of glycine and uric acid (up-regulation), carbohydrates and free fatty acids (down-regulation) were observed. The further metabolomics of silk synthesis deficient silkworms by decreasing silk proteins synthesis using knocking out fibroin heavy chain gene or extirpating silk glands operation showed that the changes of the metabolites were almost consistent with those of the Nd group. Furthermore, the increased silk yields by supplying more glycine or its related metabolite confirmed that glycine is a key metabolite to regulate silk synthesis. These findings provide important insights into the regulation between metabolic profiling and silk synthesis.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Molecular characterization and functional expression of the Apis mellifera
           voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 January 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Thierry Cens , Matthieu Rousset , Claude Collet , Mercedes Charreton , Lionel Garnery , Yves Le Conte , Mohamed Chahine , Jean-Christophe Sandoz , Pierre Charnet
      Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels allow the influx of Ca2+ ions from the extracellular space upon membrane depolarization and thus serve as a transducer between membrane potential and cellular events initiated by Ca2+ transients. Most insects are predicted to possess three genes encoding Cavα, the main subunit of Ca2+ channels, and several genes encoding the two auxiliary subunits, Cavβ and Cavα2δ; however very few of these genes have been cloned so far. Here, we cloned three full-length cDNAs encoding the three Cavα subunits (AmelCav1a, AmelCav2a and AmelCav3a), a cDNA encoding a novel variant of the Cavβ subunit (AmelCavβc), and three full-length cDNAs encoding three Cavα2δ subunits (AmelCavα2δ1 to 3) of the honeybee Apis mellifera. We identified several alternative or mutually exclusive exons in the sequence of the AmelCav2 and AmelCav3 genes. Moreover, we detected a stretch of glutamine residues in the C-terminus of the AmelCav1 subunit that is reminiscent of the motif found in the human Cav2.1 subunit of patients with Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 6. All these subunits contain structural domains that have been identified as functionally important in their mammalian homologues. For the first time, we could express three insect Cavα subunits in Xenopus oocytes and we show that AmelCav1a, 2a and 3a form Ca2+ channels with distinctive properties. Notably, the co-expression of AmelCav1a or AmelCav2a with AmelCavβc and AmCavα2δ1 produces High Voltage-Activated Ca2+ channels. On the other hand, expression of AmelCav3a alone leads to Low Voltage-Activated Ca2+ channels.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Regulation of histone H3 phosphorylation at serine 10 in PTTH-stimulated
           prothoracic glands of the silkworm, Bombyx mori
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 57
      Author(s): Shi-Hong Gu , Yun-Chin Hsieh
      A complex signaling network appears to be involved in prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH)-stimulated ecdysteroidogenesis in insect prothoracic glands (PGs). In the present study, we investigated the localization of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in PTTH-stimulated PGs in Bombyx mori. The nuclear effect of PTTH was further studied by examining phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10. Results showed that in PTTH-stimulated PGs, higher phosphorylated ERK was detected in nuclear fraction compared to that in cytosolic fraction. PTTH treatment in vitro appears to rapidly enhance the transcriptional activation-associated histone H3 phosphorylation at serine 10. PTTH stimulated histone H3 phosphorylation in a time-dependent manner. Injection of PTTH into day-6 last instar larvae greatly increased histone H3 phosphorylation, verifying the in vitro effect. The stimulation of histone H3 phosphorylation by PTTH appears to be developmentally regulated. PTTH-stimulated histone H3 phosphorylation was greatly reduced in Ca2+-free saline or by pretreatment with a potent and specific inhibitor of phospholipase C (PLC), U73122. When PGs were treated with agents that directly elevate the intracellular Ca2+ concentration (either A23187 or thapsigargin), a greatly increase in histone H3 phosphorylation at serine 10 was observed, indicating Ca2+-dependency of histone H3 phosphorylation stimulated by PTTH. In addition, PTTH-stimulated histone H3 phosphorylation was partially reduced by U0126, a specific mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor, indicating the involvement of ERK. However, pretreatment with LY294002, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, did not inhibit PTTH-stimulated histone H3 phosphorylation, implying that PI3K signaling is not related to PTTH-stimulated histone H3 phosphorylation. Taken together, these results suggest that PTTH-stimulated histone H3 phosphorylation at serine 10 is mediated by Ca2+/ERK signaling in B. mori PGs.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • TIL-type protease inhibitors may be used as targeted resistance factors to
           enhance silkworm defenses against invasive fungi
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 57
      Author(s): Youshan Li , Ping Zhao , Huawei Liu , Xiaomeng Guo , Huawei He , Rui Zhu , Zhonghuai Xiang , Qingyou Xia
      Entomopathogenic fungi penetrate the insect cuticle using their abundant hydrolases. These hydrolases, which include cuticle-degrading proteases and chitinases, are important virulence factors. Our recent findings suggest that many serine protease inhibitors, especially TIL-type protease inhibitors, are involved in insect resistance to pathogenic microorganisms. To clarify the molecular mechanism underlying this resistance to entomopathogenic fungi and identify novel genes to improve the silkworm antifungal capacity, we conducted an in-depth study of serine protease inhibitors. Here, we cloned and expressed a novel silkworm TIL-type protease inhibitor, BmSPI39. In activity assays, BmSPI39 potently inhibited the virulence protease CDEP-1 of Beauveria bassiana, suggesting that it might suppress the fungal penetration of the silkworm integument by inhibiting the cuticle-degrading proteases secreted by the fungus. Phenol oxidase activation studies showed that melanization is involved in the insect immune response to fungal invasion, and that fungus-induced excessive melanization is suppressed by BmSPI39 by inhibiting the fungal cuticle-degrading proteases. To better understand the mechanism involved in the inhibition of fungal virulence by protease inhibitors, their effects on the germination of B. bassiana conidia was examined. BmSPI38 and BmSPI39 significantly inhibited the germination of B. bassiana conidia. Survival assays showed that BmSPI38 and BmSPI39 markedly improved the survival rates of silkworms, and can therefore be used as targeted resistance proteins in the silkworm. These results provided new insight into the molecular mechanisms whereby insect protease inhibitors confer resistance against entomopathogenic fungi, suggesting their potential application in medicinal or agricultural fields.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • Allatostatin-C reversibly blocks the transport of citrate out of the
           mitochondria and inhibits juvenile hormone synthesis in mosquitoes
    • Abstract: Publication date: February 2015
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 57
      Author(s): Marcela Nouzova , Crisalejandra Rivera-Perez , Fernando G. Noriega
      Aedes aegypti allatostatin-C (AeaAST-C or PISCF-AST) is a strong and fast reversible inhibitor of juvenile hormone III (JH III) synthesis by the corpora allata (CA) of mosquitoes; however, its mechanism of action remains poorly understood. AeaAST-C showed no inhibitory activity in the presence of any of the intermediate precursors of JH III indicating that the AeaAST-C target is located before the entry of acetyl-CoA in the pathway. Stimulation experiments using different sources of carbon (glucose, pyruvate, acetate and citrate) suggest that AST-C acts after pyruvate is transformed to citrate in the mitochondria. In vitro inhibition of the citrate mitochondrial carrier (CIC) mimicked the effect of AeaAST-C, and was overridden by addition of citrate or acetate. Our results provide compelling evidence that AeaAST-C inhibits JH III synthesis by blocking the CIC carrier that transports citrate from the mitochondria to the cytosol, obstructing the production of cytoplasmic acetyl-CoA that sustains JH III synthesis in the CA of mosquitoes.
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      PubDate: 2015-01-19T18:28:59Z
       
  • The structural sheath protein of aphids is required for phloem feeding
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Torsten Will , Andreas Vilcinskas
      Aphids produce two types of saliva that mediate their interactions with plants. Watery saliva is secreted during cell penetration and ingestion, whereas gel saliva is secreted during stylet movement through the apoplast where it forms a sheath around the stylet to facilitate penetration and seal puncture sites on cell membranes. In order to study the function of the sheath when aphids interact with plants, we used RNA interference (RNAi) to silence the aphid structural sheath protein (SHP) in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. The injection of 50 ng of double stranded RNA completely disrupted sheath formation, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Aphid behavior was monitored using the electrical penetration graph technique, revealing that disrupted sheath formation prevented efficient long-term feeding from sieve tubes, with a silencing effect on reproduction but not survival. We propose that sealing the stylet penetration site in the sieve tube plasma membrane is part of a two-step mechanism to suppress sieve-tube occlusion by preventing calcium influx into the sieve tube lumen. The SHP is present in several aphid species and silencing has a similar impact to aphid-resistant plants, suggesting that SHP is an excellent target for RNAi-mediated pest control.
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      PubDate: 2014-12-19T06:47:25Z
       
  • An atypical residue in the pore of Varroa destructor GABA-activated RDL
           receptors affects picrotoxin block and thymol modulation
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Kerry L. Price , Sarah C.R. Lummis
      GABA-activated RDL receptors are the insect equivalent of mammalian GABAA receptors, and play a vital role in neurotransmission and insecticide action. Here we clone the pore lining M2 region of the Varroa mite RDL receptor and show that it has 4 atypical residues when compared to M2 regions of most other insects, including bees, which are the major host of Varroa mites. We create mutant Drosophila RDL receptors containing these substitutions and characterise their effects on function. Using two electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology we show that one substitution (T6′M) ablates picrotoxin inhibition and increases the potency of GABA. This mutation also alters the effect of thymol, which enhances both insect and mammalian GABA responses, and is widely used as a miticide. Thymol decreases the GABA EC50 of WT receptors, enhancing responses, but in T6′M-containing receptors it is inhibitory. The other 3 atypical residues have no major effects on either the GABA EC50, the picrotoxin potency or the effect of thymol. In conclusion we show that the RDL 6′ residue is important for channel block, activation and modulation, and understanding its function also has the potential to prove useful in the design of Varroa-specific insecticidal agents.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
 
 
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