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  Subjects -> BIOLOGY (Total: 2691 journals)
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BIOCHEMISTRY (207 journals)                  1 2 3     

AAPS PharmSciTech     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Acetic Acid Bacteria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ACS Chemical Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 321)
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: 7)
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: 188)
American Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
American Journal of Polymer Science     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Amino Acids     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 214)
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Annual Review of Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28)
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: 7)
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  
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: 8)
Biochemical Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Biochemical Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
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: 234)
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: 7)
Biogeochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
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)
Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Biosimilars     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
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: 16)
Chemistry and Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
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)
Computational Biology and Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)

        1 2 3     

Journal Cover Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
   [5 followers]  Follow    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 0965-1748
     Published by Elsevier Homepage  [2575 journals]   [SJR: 1.333]   [H-I: 69]
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 54




      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • TIL-type protease inhibitors may be used as targeted resistance factors to
           enhance silkworm defenses against invasive fungi
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 November 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      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.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • Re-examination of a α-chymotrypsin-solubilized laccase in the pupal
           cuticle of the silkworm, Bombyx mori: Insights into the regulation system
           for laccase activation during the ecdysis process
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Tsunaki Asano , Masato Taoka , Yoshio Yamauchi , R. Craig Everroad , Yosuke Seto , Toshiaki Isobe , Masaharu Kamo , Naoyuki Chosa
      The laccase in the pupal cuticle of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, is thought to accumulate as an inactive precursor that can be activated stage-dependently. In this study we isolated an 81-kDa laccase from cuticular extract of B. mori that was prepared by digestion of the pupal cuticles with α-chymotrypsin. The mass spectrometric analysis of the purified protein indicates that this 81-kDa laccase is a product of the Bombyx laccase2 gene. The purified 81-kDa laccase (α-chymotrypsin-solubilized Bombyx laccase2: Bm-clac2) has an N-terminal sequence of RNPADS that corresponds to Arg146 to Ser151 of the deduced protein sequence of Bmlaccase2 cDNA, indicating that Bm-clac2 lacks the N-terminal part upstream from residue Arg146. Bm-clac2 shows enzymatic activity, but its specific activity is increased around 17-fold after treatment with trypsin, which involves cleavage of peptide bonds at the C-terminal region. We also found that the activity of Bm-clac2 is increased in the presence of isopropanol. In previous reports, proteolytic processing has been hypothesized as a system for laccase activation in vivo, but the present result implies that this type of processing is not the only way to convert Bm-clac2 to the high-activity enzyme.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • Involvement of FTZ-F1 in the regulation of pupation in Leptinotarsa
           decemlineata (Say)
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Xin-Ping Liu , Kai-Yun Fu , Feng-Gong Lü , Qing-Wei Meng , Wen-Chao Guo , Guo-Qing Li
      During the final instar larvae of holometabolous insects, a pulse of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and a drop in juvenile hormone (JH) trigger larval-pupal metamorphosis. In this study, two LdFTZ-F1 cDNAs (LdFTZ-F1-1 and LdFTZ-F1-2) were cloned in Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Both LdFTZ-F1-1 and LdFTZ-F1-2 were highly expressed just before or right after each molt, similar to the expression pattern of an ecdysteroidogenesis gene LdSHD. Ingestion of an ecdysteroid agonist halofenozide (Hal) enhanced LdFTZ-F1-1 and LdFTZ-F1-2 expression in the final larval instar. Conversely, a decrease in 20E by feeding a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) against LdSHD repressed the expression. Moreover, Hal rescued the expression levels in LdSHD-silenced larvae. Thus, 20E peaks seem to induce the transcription of LdFTZ-F1s. Furthermore, ingesting dsLdFTZ-F1 from a common fragment of LdFTZ-F1-1 and LdFTZ-F1-2 successfully knocked down both LdFTZ-F1s, and impaired pupation. Finally, knocking down LdFTZ-F1s significantly repressed the transcription of three ecdysteroidogenesis genes, lowered 20E titer, and reduced the expression of two 20E receptor genes. Silencing LdFTZ-F1s also induced the expression of a JH biosynthesis gene, increased JH titer, but decreased the mRNA level of a JH early-inducible gene. Thus, LdFTZ-F1s are involved in the regulation of pupation by modulating 20E and JH titers and mediating their signaling pathways.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • Identification of differentially expressed microRNAs in Culex pipiens and
           their potential roles in pyrethroid resistance
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Shanchao Hong , Qin Guo , Weijie Wang , Shengli Hu , Fujin Fang , Yuan Lv , Jing Yu , Feifei Zou , Zhentao Lei , Kai Ma , Lei Ma , Dan Zhou , Yan Sun , Donghui Zhang , Bo Shen , Changliang Zhu
      Pyrethroids are the major class of insecticides used for mosquito control. Excessive and improper use of insecticides, however, has resulted in pyrethroid resistance, which has become a major obstacle for mosquito control. The development of pyrethroid resistance is a complex process involving many genes, and information on post-transcription regulation of pyrethroid resistance is lacking. In this study, we extracted RNA from mosquitoes in various life stages (fourth-instar larvae, pupae, male and female adult mosquitoes) from deltamethrin-sensitive (DS) and resistant (DR) strains. Using illumina sequencing, we obtained 13760296 and 12355472 reads for DS-strains and DR-strains, respectively. We identified 100 conserved miRNAs and 42 novel miRNAs derived from 21 miRNA precursors in Culex pipiens. After normalization, we identified 28 differentially expressed miRNAs between the two strains. Additionally, we found that cpp-miR-71 was significant down regulated in female adults from the DR-strain. Based on microinjection and CDC Bottle Bioassay data, we found that cpp-miR-71 may play a contributing role in deltamethrin resistance. The present study provides the firstly large-scale characterization of miRNAs in Cu. pipiens and provides evidence of post-transcription regulation. The differentially expressed miRNAs between the two strains are expected to contribute to the development of pyrethroid resistance.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • A novel β-fructofuranosidase in Coleoptera: Characterization of a
           β-fructofuranosidase from the sugarcane weevil, Sphenophorus levis
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55
      Author(s): Rafael Pedezzi , Fernando P.P. Fonseca , Célio Dias Santos Júnior , Luciano T. Kishi , Walter R. Terra , Flávio Henrique-Silva
      β-fructofuranosidases or invertases (EC 3.2.1.26) catalyze the hydrolysis of sucrose into fructose and glucose. β-fructofuranosidases have been widely described in microorganisms, but were not known in the animal kingdom until very recently. There are studies reporting lepidopteran β-fructofuranosidases, but no β-fructofuranosidase gene sequence or encoding transcript has previously been identified in beetles. Considering the scarcity of functional studies on insect β-fructofuranosidases and their apparent non-occurrence among coleopterans, the aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence and characterize a β-fructofuranosidase transcript identified in a cDNA library from the sugarcane weevil, Sphenophorus levis (Curculionidae). To validate that the β-fructofuranosidase sequence (herein denominated Sl-β-fruct) is indeed encoded by the S. levis genome, PCRs were performed using genomic DNA extracted from the larval fat body as well as DNA from the midgut with microbial content. Amplification of Sl-β-fruct gene using larval fat body DNA indicated its presence in the insect's genomic DNA. The Sl-β-fruct gene was cloned in Pichia pastoris to produce the recombinant enzyme (rSl-β-fruct). Molecular weight of the recombinant protein was about 64 kDa, indicating possible glycosylation, since the theoretical weight was 54.8 kDa. The substrate specificity test revealed that rSl-β-fruct hydrolyzes sucrose and raffinose, but not melibiose or maltose, thereby confirming invertase activity. The pH curve revealed greatest activity at pH 5.0, demonstrating rSl-β-fruct to be an acidic β-fructofuranosidase. Quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses indicated that the production of mRNA only occurs in the midgut and reaches the greatest expression level in 30-day-old larvae, which is the expected pattern for digestive enzymes. Chromatography of glycosidases from S. levis midguts showed two enzymes acting as β-fructofuranosidase, indicating the presence of a Sl-β-fruct isoform or a β-fructofuranosidase from insect intestinal microbiota. Moreover, it was found that α-glucosidases do not act on sucrose hydrolysis. Phylogenetic analyses indicated this enzyme to be similar to enzymes found in other coleopteran and lepidopteran β-fructofuranosidases, but also closely similar to bacterial enzymes, suggesting potential horizontal gene transfer. Despite this, the enzyme seems to be restricted to different groups of bacteria, which suggests distinct origin events. The present study expands the concept of the occurrence of β-fructofuranosidase in insects. Despite the few descriptions of this gene in the animal kingdom, it is possible to state that β-fructofuranosidase is crucial to the establishment of some insects throughout their evolutionary history, especially members of the Lepidoptera and Coleoptera clades.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 55




      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • Allatostatin-C reversibly blocks the transport of citrate out of the
           mitochondria and inhibits juvenile hormone synthesis in mosquitoes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      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: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • Identification and functional characterization of FGLamide-related
           allatostatin receptor in Rhodnius prolixus
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 December 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      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.
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      PubDate: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • 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: 2014-12-15T09:05:32Z
       
  • The cyclic keto-enol insecticide spirotetramat inhibits insect and spider
           mite acetyl-CoA carboxylases by interfering with the carboxyltransferase
           partial reaction
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 October 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      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: 2014-10-03T07:56:19Z
       
  • Identification and expression profiling of Helicoverpa armigera microRNAs
           and their possible role in the regulation of digestive protease genes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Purushottam R. Lomate , Neha S. Mahajan , Sandip M. Kale , Vidya S. Gupta , Ashok P. Giri
      The present investigation is an effort to determine the possible roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of protease gene expression in Helicoverpa armigera upon exposure to plant protease inhibitors (PIs). Using Illumina platform, deep sequencing of 12 small RNA libraries was performed from H. armigera larvae fed on artificial diet (AD) or exposed to optimum dose of recombinant Capsicum annuum PI-7 (rCanPI-7) incorporated in the diet at various time intervals (0.5, 2, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h). Sequencing data were analyzed with miRDeep2 software; a total of 186 unique miRNAs were identified from all the 12 libraries, out of which 96 were conserved while 90 were novel. These miRNAs showed all the conserved characteristics of insect miRNAs. Homology analysis revealed that most of the identified miRNAs were insect-specific, and more than 50 miRNAs were Lepidoptera-specific. Several candidate miRNAs (conserved and novel) were differentially expressed in rCanPI-7 fed larvae as compared to the larvae fed on AD. H. armigera miRNAs were found to have target sites in several protease genes as well as in protease regulation related genes such as serine PI and immune reactive PI. As expected, negative correlation in the relative abundance of miRNAs and their target mRNAs was evident from qualitative real time polymerase chain reaction analysis. The investigation revealed potential roles of miRNAs in H. armigera protease gene regulation.
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      PubDate: 2014-10-03T07:56:19Z
       
  • Monoacylglycerol and diacylglycerol acyltransferases and the synthesis of
           neutral glycerides in Manduca sexta
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Jose L. Soulages , Zengying Wu , Sarah J. Firdaus , Ramamurthy Mahalingam , Estela L. Arrese
      The insect fat body and the adipose tissue of vertebrates store fatty acids (FA) as triacylglycerols (TG). However, the fat body of most insects has the unique ability to rapidly produce and secrete large amounts of diacylglycerol (DG). Monoacylglycerol acyltransferase (MGAT), which catalyzes the synthesis of DG from MG, and a diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT), which catalyzes the synthesis of TG from DG, are key enzymes in the metabolism of neutral glycerides. However, very little is known about these acyltransferases in insects. In the present study we have cloned two predicted MGATs and a DGAT from Manduca sexta and compared their sequences with predicted MGAT and DGAT homologs from a number of insect species. The comparison suggested that insects may only have a single DGAT gene, DGAT1. The apparent absence of a DGAT2 gene in insects would represent a major difference with vertebrates, which contain DGAT1 and DGAT2 genes. Insects seem to have a single MGAT gene which is similar to the MGAT2 of vertebrates. A number of conserved phosphorylation sites of potential physiological significance were identified among insect proteins and among insect and vertebrate proteins. DGAT1 and MGAT are expressed in fat body, midgut and ovaries. The relative rates of utilization of FAs for the synthesis of DG and TG correlated with the relative expression levels of MGAT and DGAT suggesting that regulation of the expression levels of these acyltransferases could be determining whether the fat body secretes DG or stores fatty acids as TG. The expression patterns of the acyltransferases suggest a role of the monoacylglycerol pathway in the production and mobilization of DG in M. sexta fat body.
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      PubDate: 2014-10-03T07:56:19Z
       
  • CYP341B14: A cytochrome P450 involved in the specific epoxidation of
           pheromone precursors in the fall webworm Hyphantria cunea
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Yu Rong , Takeshi Fujii , Susumu Katsuma , Masanobu Yamamoto , Tetsu Ando , Yukio Ishikawa
      Two of the four sex pheromone components in the fall webworm Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), cis-9,10-epoxy-(3Z,6Z)-3,6-henicosadiene and cis-9,10-epoxy-(3Z,6Z)-1,3,6-henicosatriene, possess an epoxy ring within their molecules. These compounds have been suggested to be biosynthesized from dietary linolenic acid via the following enzymatic reactions; chain elongation, terminal desaturation (in the case of the latter component), decarboxylation, and epoxidation. The last step of this biosynthesis, epoxidation, is known to occur specifically in the sex pheromone gland of females. We identified the enzyme involved in the epoxidation of pheromone precursors by focusing on cytochromes P450, which are known to catalyze the oxidation of various compounds. Three P450-like sequences (Hc_epo1, Hc_epo2, and Hc_epo3) were identified in the cDNA library prepared from the sex pheromone gland of H. cunea. Among these clones, only Hc_epo1 was specifically expressed in the pheromone gland. The full-length sequence of Hc_epo1 contained an ORF of 1527 bp, which encoded a protein of 509 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 57.9 kDa. The deduced Hc_epo1 amino acid sequence possessed the characteristics of P450. A phylogenetic analysis of the sequence indicated that Hc_epo1 belonged to the CYP341B clade in the CYP341 family. Therefore, it was named CYP341B14. A subsequent functional assay using Sf-9 cells transiently expressing CYP341B14 demonstrated that this P450 protein was able to specifically epoxidize a (Z)-double bond at the 9 position in the pheromone precursor, (3Z,6Z,9Z)-3,6,9-henicosatriene.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-28T07:05:47Z
       
  • Ecdysis triggering hormone ensures proper timing of juvenile hormone
           biosynthesis in pharate adult mosquitoes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Maria Areiza , Marcela Nouzova , Crisalejandra Rivera-Perez , Fernando G. Noriega
      Juvenile hormones (JHs) are synthesized by the corpora allata (CA) and play a key role in insect development. A decrease of JH titer in the last instar larvae allows pupation and metamorphosis to proceed. As the anti-metamorphic role of JH comes to an end, the CA of the late pupa (or pharate adult) becomes again “competent” to synthesize JH, which would play an essential role orchestrating reproductive maturation. In the present study, we provide evidence that ecdysis triggering hormone (ETH), a key endocrine factor involved in ecdysis control, acts as an allatotropic regulator of JH biosynthesis, controlling the exact timing of CA activation in the pharate adult mosquito. Analysis of the expression of Aedes aegypti ETH receptors (AeaETHRs) revealed that they are present in the CA and the corpora cardiaca (CC), and their expression peaks 4 h before eclosion. In vitro stimulation of the pupal CA glands with ETH resulted in an increase in JH synthesis. Consistent with this finding, silencing AeaETHRs by RNA interference (RNAi) in pupa resulted in reduced JH synthesis by the CA of one day-old adult females. Stimulation with ETH resulted in increases in the activity of juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase (JHAMT), a key JH biosynthetic enzyme. Furthermore, inhibition of IP3R-operated mobilization of endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores prevented the ETH-dependent increases of JH biosynthesis and JHAMT activity. All together these findings provide compelling evidence that ETH acts as a regulatory peptide that ensures proper developmental timing of JH synthesis in pharate adult mosquitoes.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-24T06:32:53Z
       
  • An N-acetyllactosamine-specific lectin, PFA, isolated from a moth (Phalera
           flavescens), structurally resembles an invertebrate-type lysozyme
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Kazutaka Yokoyama , Michihiko Sato , Toshihiro Haneda , Kentaro Yamazaki , Takashi Kitano , Kazuo Umetsu
      PFA (Phalera flavescens agglutinin) lectin purified from larvae of the lobster moth (Phalera flavescens) shows a strong binding ability specific to the N-acetyllactosamine (Galβ1-4GlcNAc) site. We determined the genomic and cDNA sequences of the PFA gene, which consists of five exons and spans approximately 5 kb of a genomic region. Surprisingly, the amino acid sequence (149 amino acids) was similar to invertebrate-type lysozymes and related proteins. The predicted tertiary structure of the PFA protein was similar to the lysozymes of clams such as the common orient clam (Meretrix lusoria) and Japanese littleneck (Venerupis philippinarum (Tapes japonica)). The PFA, however, lacks a catalytically essential amino acid, an Asp (D), which is one of the two important amino acids (Glu (E) and D) express the function of lysozyme. As a result, lysozyme activity assays indicated that PFA does not have lysozyme activity. Results suggest that the PFA gene evolved from a lysozyme gene through the loss of lysozyme activity sites and the acquisition of lectin activity during evolution of the genus Phalera.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-24T06:32:53Z
       
  • Sumoylation modulates 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling by maintaining USP
           protein levels in Drosophila
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Jiawan Wang , Sheng Wang , Sheng Li
      The nuclear receptor complex for the insect steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), is a heterodimer of EcR and USP. It has been shown that Drosophila EcR and USP can be sumoylated in mammalian cells, but it is unknown whether EcR-USP sumoylation naturally occurs in Drosophila. In Drosophila cells, USP, but not EcR, was sumoylated by Smt3, the only Drosophila SUMO protein. The presence of EcR enhanced USP sumoylation, which is further enhanced by 20E treatment. In addition to the Lys20 sumoylation site, five additional potential acceptor lysine residues in USP were predicted and verified. Mutation of the USP sumoylation sites or reduction of smt3 expression by RNAi attenuated 20E-induced reporter activity. Moreover, in the salivary glands, reducing smt3 expression by RNAi decreased 20E-induced reporter activity, gene expression, and autolysosome formation. Importantly, at least partially, the smt3 RNAi-mediated reduction in 20E signaling resulted from decreased protein levels of USP. In conclusion, sumoylation modulates 20E signaling by maintaining USP protein levels in Drosophila.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-24T06:32:53Z
       
  • Alkaline phosphatases and aminopeptidases are altered in a Cry11Aa
           resistant strain of Aedes aegypti
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Su-Bum Lee , Karlygash G. Aimanova , Sarjeet S. Gill
      Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) has been widely for the biological control of mosquito populations. However, the mechanism of Bti toxins is still not fully understood. To further elucidate the mechanism of Bti toxins, we developed an Aedes aegypti resistant strain that shows high-level resistance to Cry11Aa toxin. After 27 selections with Cry11Aa toxin, the larvae showed a 124-fold resistance ratio for Cry11Aa (strain G30). G30 larvae showed cross-resistance to Cry4Aa (66-fold resistance), less to Cry4Ba (13-fold), but not to Cry11Ba (2-fold). Midguts from these resistant larvae did not show detectable difference in the processing of the Cry11Aa toxin compared to that in susceptible larvae (WT). Brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) from resistant larvae bound slightly less Cry11Aa compared to WT BBMV. To identify potential proteins associated with Cry11A resistance, not only transcript changes in the larval midgut were analyzed using Illumina sequencing and qPCR, but alterations of previously identified receptor proteins were investigated using immunoblots. The transcripts of 375 genes were significantly increased and those of 208 genes were down regulated in the resistant larvae midgut compared to the WT. None of the transcripts for previously identified receptors of Cry11Aa (Aedes cadherin, ALP1, APN1, and APN2) were altered in these analyses. The genes for the identified functional receptors in resistant larvae midgut did not contain any mutation in their sequences nor was there any change in their transcript expression levels compared to WT. However, ALP proteins were expressed at reduced levels (∼40%) in the resistant strain BBMV. APN proteins and their activity were also slightly reduced in resistance strain. The transcript levels of ALPs (AAEL013330 and AAEL015070) and APNs (AAEL008158, AAEL008162) were significantly reduced. These results strongly suggest that ALPs and APNs could be associated with Cry11Aa resistance in Ae. aegypti.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-21T05:48:06Z
       
  • Spatial and temporal synthesis of Mamestra configurata peritrophic matrix
           through a larval stadium
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Umut Toprak , Dwayne D. Hegedus , Doug Baldwin , Cathy Coutu , Martin Erlandson
      The structure and synthesis of the Mamestra configurata peritrophic matrix (PM) was examined at various time points during a larval stadium. Bright field and confocal fluorescence microscopy revealed major differences between the PM of feeding and molting larvae. The PM from feeding larvae was thinner and composed of approximately 5-10 layers. In contrast, mid-molt larvae had a chitinaceaous PM composed of multiple thick layers which filled most of the midgut lumen. PM synthesis initiates in the anterior midgut, based on the expression of genes encoding chitin synthase-2 (CHS-2), coincident with the incorporation of the major structural PM proteins (McIIM1, McIIM2 and McPM1). This is followed by reinforcement with other PM proteins (McIIM3 and McIIM4) as it moves toward the posterior of the midgut. Chitin deacetylase (McCDA1) was associated only with the anterior PM. Collectively, these findings indicate that the structural properties of the PM differ along the length of the midgut. Genes encoding chitinolytic enzymes (McCHI and McNAG) were expressed and exochitinase activity was present when the PM had degraded (pre-molt) and when the new PM was forming (mid-molt), indicating that they are involved in either PM turnover and/or maintenance dependent upon the stage.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-21T05:48:06Z
       
  • Peroxinectin catalyzed dityrosine crosslinking in the adhesive underwater
           silk of a casemaker caddisfly larvae, Hysperophylax occidentalis
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Ching-Shuen Wang , Nicholas B. Ashton , Robert B. Weiss , Russell J. Stewart
      Aquatic caddisfly larvae use sticky silk fibers as an adhesive tape to construct protective composite structures under water. Three new silk fiber components were identified by transcriptome and proteome analysis of the silk gland: a heme-peroxidase in the peroxinectin (Pxt) sub-family, a superoxide dismutase 3 (SOD3) that generates the H2O2 substrate of the silk fiber Pxt from environmental reactive oxygen species (eROS), and a novel structural component with sequence similarity to the elastic PEVK region of the muscle protein, titin. All three proteins are co-drawn with fibroins to form silk fibers. The Pxt and SOD3 enzymes retain activity in drawn fibers. In native fibers, Pxt activity and dityrosine crosslinks are co-localized at the boundary of a peripheral layer and the silk fiber core. To our knowledge, dityrosine crosslinks, heme peroxidase, and SOD3 activities have not been previously reported in an insect silk. The PEVK-like protein is homogeneously distributed throughout the fiber core. The results are consolidated into a model in which caddisfly silk Pxt-catalyzed dityrosine crosslinking occurs post-draw using H2O2 generated within the silk fibers by SOD3. The ROS substrate of caddisfly silk SOD3 occurs naturally in aquatic environments, from biotic and abiotic sources. The radially inhomogeneous dityrosine crosslinking and a potential titin-like PEVK protein network have important implications for the mechanical properties of caddifly silk fibers.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-17T05:26:23Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 53




      PubDate: 2014-09-17T05:26:23Z
       
  • Mode of action of allatostatins in the regulation of juvenile hormone
           biosynthesis in the cockroach, Diploptera punctata
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Juan Huang , Elisabeth Marchal , Ekaterina F. Hult , Sven Zels , Jozef Vanden Broeck , Stephen S. Tobe
      The FGLamide allatostatins (FGL/ASTs) are a family of neuropeptides with pleiotropic functions, including the inhibition of juvenile hormone (JH) biosynthesis, vitellogenesis and muscle contraction. In the cockroach, Diploptera punctata, thirteen FGLa/ASTs and one allatostatin receptor (AstR) have been identified. However, the mode of action of ASTs in regulation of JH biosynthesis remains unclear. Here, we determined the tissue distribution of Dippu-AstR. And we expressed Dippu-AstR in vertebrate cell lines, and activated the receptor with the Dippu-ASTs. Our results show that all thirteen ASTs activated Dippu-AstR in a dose dependent manner, albeit with different potencies. Functional analysis of AstR in multiple cell lines demonstrated that activation of the AstR receptor resulted in elevated levels of Ca2+ and cAMP, which suggests that Dippu-AstR can act through the Gαq and Gαs protein pathways. The study on the target of AST action reveals that FGL/AST affects JH biosynthesis prior to the entry of acetyl-CoA into the JH biosynthetic pathway.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-12T04:58:25Z
       
  • Identification and profiling of Manduca sexta microRNAs and their possible
           roles in regulating specific transcripts in fat body, hemocytes, and
           midgut
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Xiufeng Zhang , Yun Zheng , Xiaolong Cao , Ren Ren , Xiao-Qiang Yu , Haobo Jiang
      Significance of microRNA-mediated posttranscriptional regulation has been appreciated ever since its discovery. In the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, 164 conserved and 16 novel microRNAs have been identified experimentally (Zhang et al., 2012, 2014). To extend the list of microRNAs in this lepidopteran model species and further explore their possible regulatory roles, we constructed and sequenced small RNA libraries of M. sexta fat body, hemocytes and midgut, since transcriptomes of these tissues from the 5th instar larvae had been studied quite extensively. Each library represented a mixture of the same tissues from larvae that were naïve or induced by three different pathogens. From a total of 167 million reads obtained, we identified two new variants of conserved miR-281 and miR-305 and six novel microRNAs. Abundances of all microRNAs were normalized and compared to reveal their differential expression in these three tissues. Star strands of ten microRNAs were present at higher levels than the corresponding mature strands. From a list of tissue-specific transcripts, we predicted target sites in 3’-UTRs using preferentially expressed microRNA groups in each tissue and suggested possible regulatory roles of these microRNAs in energy metabolism, insecticide resistance, and some mitochondrial and immune gene expression. Examining manifold targets, microRNA regulations were suggested of multiple physiological processes. This study has enriched our knowledge of M. sexta microRNAs and how microRNAs potentially coordinate different physiological processes.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-06T03:45:42Z
       
  • exo-Brevicomin biosynthetic pathway enzymes from the Mountain Pine Beetle,
           Dendroctonus ponderosae
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Minmin Song , Patrick Delaplain , Trang T. Nguyen , Xibei Liu , Leah Wickenberg , Christopher Jeffrey , Gary J. Blomquist , Claus Tittiger
      exoBrevicomin (exo-7-ethyl-5-methyl-6,8-dioxabicyclo[3.2.1]octane) is an important semiochemical for a number of beetle species, including the highly destructive Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae). It is also found in other insects and the African elephant. Despite its significance, very little is known about its biosynthesis. A recent microarray analysis implicated a small cluster of three D. ponderosae genes in exo-brevicomin biosynthesis, two of which had identifiable open reading frames (Aw et al., 2010; BMC Genomics 11:215). Here we report further expression profiling of two genes in that cluster and functional analysis of their recombinantly-produced enzymes. One encodes a short-chain dehydrogenase that used NAD(P)+ as a co-factor to catalyze the oxidation of (Z)-6-nonen-2-ol to (Z)-6-nonen-2-one. We therefore named the enzyme (Z)-6-nonen-2-ol dehydrogenase (ZnoDH). The other encodes the cytochrome P450, CYP6CR1, which epoxidized (Z)-6-nonen-2-one to 6,7-epoxynonan-2-one with very high specificity and substrate selectivity. Both the substrates and products of the two enzymes are intermediates in the exo-brevicomin biosynthetic pathway. Thus, ZnoDH and CYP6CR1 are enzymes that apparently catalyze the antepenultimate and penultimate steps in the exo-brevicomin biosynthetic pathway, respectively.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • Editorial Board
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 52




      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • Regulation of the gut-specific carboxypeptidase: A study using the binary
           Gal4/UAS system in the mosquito Aedes aegypti
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Bo Zhao , Vladimir A. Kokoza , Tusar T. Saha , Stephanie Wang , Sourav Roy , Alexander S. Raikhel
      Pathogen transmission by mosquitoes is tightly linked to blood feeding which, in turn, is required for egg development. Studies of these processes would greatly benefit from genetic methods, such as the binary Gal4/UAS system. The latter has been well established for model organisms, but its availability is limited for mosquitoes. The objective of this study was to develop the blood-meal-activated, gut-specific Gal4/UAS system for the yellow-fever mosquito Aedes aegypti and utilize it to investigate the regulation of gut-specific gene expression. A 1.1-kb, 5' upstream region of the carboxypeptidase A (CP) gene was used to genetically engineer the CP-Gal4 driver mosquito line. The CP-Gal4 specifically activated the Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP) reporter only after blood feeding in the gut of the CP-Gal4>UAS-EGFP female Ae. aegypti. We used this system to study the regulation of CP gene expression. In vitro treatments with either amino acids (AAs) or insulin stimulated expression of the CP-Gal4>UAS-EGFP transgene; no effect was observed with 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) treatments. The transgene activation by AAs and insulin was blocked by rapamycin, the inhibitor of the Target-of-Rapamycin kinase (TOR). RNA interference (RNAi) silence of the insulin receptor (IR) reduced the expression of the CP-Gal4>UAS-EGFP transgene. Thus, in vitro and in vivo experiments have revealed that insulin and TOR pathways control expression of the digestive enzyme CP. In contrast, 20E, the major regulator of post-blood-meal vitellogenic events in female mosquitoes, has no role in regulating the expression of this gene. This novel CP-Gal4/UAS system permits functional testing of midgut-specific genes that are involved in blood digestion and interaction with pathogens in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • Expression and characterization of an epoxide hydrolase from Anopheles
           gambiae with high activity on epoxy fatty acids
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Jiawen Xu , Christophe Morisseau , Bruce D. Hammock
      In insects, epoxide hydrolases (EHs) play critical roles in the metabolism of xenobiotic epoxides from the food resources and in the regulation of endogenous chemical mediators, such as juvenile hormones. Using the baculovirus expression system, we expressed and characterized an epoxide hydrolase from Anopheles gambiae (AgEH) that is distinct in evolutionary history from insect juvenile hormone epoxide hydrolases (JHEHs). We partially purified the enzyme by ion exchange chromatography and isoelectric focusing. The experimentally determined molecular weight and pI were estimated to be 35kD and 6.3 respectively, different than the theoretical ones. The AgEH had the greatest activity on long chain epoxy fatty acids such as 14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (14,15-EET) and 9,10-epoxy-12Z-octadecenoic acids (9,10-EpOME or leukotoxin) among the substrates evaluated. Juvenile hormone III, a terpenoid insect growth regulator, was the next best substrate tested. The AgEH showed kinetics comparable to the mammalian soluble epoxide hydrolases, and the activity could be inhibited by AUDA [12-(3-adamantan-1-yl-ureido) dodecanoic acid], a urea-based inhibitor designed to inhibit the mammalian soluble epoxide hydrolases. The rabbit serum generated against the soluble epoxide hydrolase of Mus musculus can both cross-react with natural and denatured forms of the AgEH, suggesting immunologically they are similar. The study suggests there are mammalian sEH homologs in insects, and epoxy fatty acids may be important chemical mediators in insects.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • Regulation of arginine methyltransferase 3 by a Wolbachia-induced microRNA
           
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Guangmei Zhang , Mazhar Hussain , Sassan Asgari
      The gram-negative endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia, have been found to colonize a wide range of invertebrates, including over 40% of insect species. Best known for host reproductive manipulations, some strains of Wolbachia have been shown to reduce the host life span by about 50% and inhibit replication and transmission of dengue virus (DENV) in the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti. The molecular mechanisms underlying these effects still are not well understood. Our previous studies showed that Wolbachia uses host microRNAs (miRNAs) to manipulate host gene expression for its efficient maintenance and limiting replication of DENV in Ae. aegypti. Protein arginine methyltransferases are structurally and functionally conserved proteins from yeast to human. In mammals, it has been reported that protein arginine methyltransferases such as PRMT1, 5 and 6 could regulate replication of different viruses. Ae. aegypti contains eight members of protein arginine methyltransferases (AaArgM1-8). Here, we show that the wMelPop strain of Wolbachia introduced into Ae. aegypti significantly induces the expression of AaArgM3. Interestingly, we found that Wolbachia uses aae-miR-2940, which is highly upregulated in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, to upregulate the expression of AaArgM3. Silencing of AaArgM3 in a mosquito cell line led to the inhibition of Wolbachia replication, but had no effect on the replication of DENV. These results provide further evidence that Wolbachia uses the host miRNAs to manipulate host gene expression and facilitate colonization in Ae. aegypti mosquito.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • CYP18A1 regulates tissue-specific steroid hormone inactivation in Bombyx
           mori
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Zhiqian Li , Xie Ge , Lin Ling , Baosheng Zeng , Jun Xu , Abu Faiz Md Aslam , Lang You , Subba Reddy Palli , Yongping Huang , Anjiang Tan
      Insect development and metamorphosis are regulated by two major hormones, juvenile hormone and ecdysteroids. Despite being the key regulator of insect developmental transitions, the metabolic pathway of the primary steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), especially its inactivation pathway, is still not completely elucidated. A cytochrome P450 enzyme, CYP18A1, has been shown to play key roles in insect steroid hormone inactivation through 26-hydroxylation. Here, we identified two CYP18 (BmCYP18A1 and BmCYP18B1) orthologs in the lepidopteran model insect, Bombyx mori. Interestingly, BmCYP18A1 gene is predominantly expressed in the middle silk gland (MSG) while BmCYP18B1 expresses ubiquitously in B. mori. BmCYP18A1 is induced by 20E in vitro, suggesting its role in 20E metabolism. Using the binary Gal4/UAS transgenic system, we ectopically overexpressed BmCYP18A1 in a MSG-specific manner with a Sericin1-Gal4 (Ser-Gal4) driver or in a ubiquitous manner with an Actin3-Gal4 (A3-Gal4) driver. Ectopic overexpression of BmCYP18A1 in MSG or in all tissues resulted in developmental arrestment of transgenic animals during the final instar larval stage. The 20E titers in the transgenic animals expressing BmCYP18A1 were lower compared to the levels in the control animals. Although the biological significance of MSG-specific expression of BmCYP18A1 is unclear, our results provide the first evidence that BmCYP18A1, which is conserved in most arthropods, is involved in a tissue-specific steroid hormone inactivation in B. mori.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • The role of Rdl in resistance to phenylpyrazoles in Drosophila
           melanogaster
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 September 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Emily J. Remnant , Craig J. Morton , Phillip J. Daborn , Christopher Lumb , Ying Ting Yang , Hooi Ling Ng , Michael W. Parker , Philip Batterham
      Extensive use of older generation insecticides may result in pre-existing cross-resistance to new chemical classes acting at the same target site. Phenylpyrazole insecticides block inhibitory neurotransmission in insects via their action on ligand-gated chloride channels (LGCCs). Phenylpyrazoles are broad-spectrum insecticides widely used in agriculture and domestic pest control. So far, all identified cases of target site resistance to phenylpyrazoles are based on mutations in the Rdl (Resistance to dieldrin) LGCC subunit, the major target site for cyclodiene insecticides. We examined the role that mutations in Rdl have on phenylpyrazole resistance in Drosophila melanogaster, exploring naturally occurring variation, and generating predicted resistance mutations by mutagenesis. Natural variation at the Rdl locus in inbred strains of D. melanogaster included gene duplication, and a line containing two Rdl mutations found in a highly resistant line of D. simulans. These mutations had a moderate impact on survival following exposure to two phenylpyrazoles, fipronil and pyriprole. Homology modelling suggested that the Rdl chloride channel pore contains key residues for binding fipronil and pyriprole. Mutagenesis of these sites and assessment of resistance in vivo in transgenic lines showed that amino acid identity at the Ala301 site influenced resistance levels, with glycine showing greater survival than serine replacement. We confirm that point mutations at the Rdl 301 site provide moderate resistance to phenylpyrazoles in D. melanogaster. We also emphasize the beneficial aspects of testing predicted mutations in a whole organism to validate a candidate gene approach.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • A novel method to study insect olfactory receptor function using HEK293
           cells
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Jacob A. Corcoran , Melissa D. Jordan , Colm Carraher , Richard D. Newcomb
      The development of rapid and reliable assays to characterize insect odorant receptors (ORs) and pheromone receptors (PRs) remains a challenge for the field. Typically ORs and PRs are functionally characterized either in vivo in transgenic Drosophila or in vitro through expression in Xenopus oocytes. While these approaches have succeeded, they are not well suited for high-throughput screening campaigns, primarily due to inherent characteristics that limit their ability to screen large quantities of compounds in a short period of time. The development of a practical, robust and consistent in vitro assay for functional studies on ORs and PRs would allow for high-throughput screening for ligands, as well as for compounds that could be used as novel olfactory-based pest management tools. Here we describe a novel method of utilizing human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) transfected with inducible receptor constructs for the functional characterization of ORs in 96-well plates using a fluorescent spectrophotometer. Using EposOrco and EposOR3 from the pest moth, Epiphyas postvittana as an example, we generated HEK293 cell lines with robust and consistent responses to ligands in functional assays. Single-cell sorting of cell lines by FACS facilitated the selection of isogenic cell lines with maximal responses, and the addition of epitope tags on the N-termini allowed the detection of recombinant proteins in homogenates by western blot and in cells by immunocytochemistry. We thoroughly describe the methods used to generate these OR-expressing cell lines, demonstrating that they have all the necessary features required for use in high-throughput screening platforms.
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      PubDate: 2014-09-02T03:04:07Z
       
  • Allelic-specific Expression in Relation to Bombyx mori resistance to Bt
           toxin
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Yazhou Chen , Muwang Li , Iftakher Islam , Lang You , Yueqiang Wang , Zhiqian Li , Lin Ling , Baosheng Zeng , Jun Xu , Yongping Huang , Anjiang Tan
      Understanding the mechanism of Bt resistance is one of the key elements of the effective application of Bt in pest control. The lepidopteran model insect, the silkworm, demonstrates qualities that make it an ideal species to use in achieving this understanding. We screened 45 strains of silkworm (Bombyx mori) using a Cry1Ab toxin variant. The sensitivity levels of the strains varied over a wide range. A resistant strain (P50) and a phylogenetically related susceptible strain (Dazao) were selected to profile the expressions of 12 Bt resistance-related genes. The SNPs in these genes were detected based on EST analysis and were validated by allelic-specific PCR. A comparison of allelic-specific expression between P50 and Dazao showed that the transcript levels of heterozygous genes containing two alleles rather than an imbalanced allelic expression contribute more to the resistance of P50 against Bt. The responses of the allelic-specific expression to Bt in hybrid larvae were then investigated. The results showed that the gene expression pattern of an ATP-binding cassette transporter C2 (ABCC2) and an aminopeptidase N (APN3), changed in an allelic-specific manner, with the increase of the resistant allele expression correlated with larval survival. The results suggest that a trans-regulatory mechanism in ABCC2 and APN3 allelic-specific expression is involved in the insect’s response to the Bt toxin. The potential role of allelic-specific gene regulation in insect resistance to Bt toxins is discussed.
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      PubDate: 2014-08-16T01:24:16Z
       
  • Biosynthetic pathway of the phytohormone auxin in insects and screening of
           its inhibitors
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 August 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Hiroyoshi Suzuki , Junpei Yokokura , Tsukasa Ito , Ryoma Arai , Chiaki Yokoyama , Hiroaki Toshima , Shinji Nagata , Tadao Asami , Yoshihito Suzuki
      Insect galls are abnormal plant tissues induced by galling insects. The galls are used for food and habitation, and the phytohormone auxin, produced by the insects, may be involved in their formation. We found that the silkworm, a non-galling insect, also produces an active form of auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), by de novo synthesis from tryptophan (Trp). A detailed metabolic analysis of IAA using IAA synthetic enzymes from silkworms indicated an IAA biosynthetic pathway composed of a three-step conversion: Trp → indole-3-acetaldoxime → indole-3-acetaldehyde (IAAld) → IAA, of which the first step is limiting IAA production. This pathway was shown to also operate in gall-inducing sawfly. Screening of a chemical library identified two compounds that showed strong inhibitory activities on the conversion step IAAld → IAA. The inhibitors can be efficiently used to demonstrate the importance of insect-synthesized auxin in gall formation in the future.
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      PubDate: 2014-08-12T00:33:41Z
       
  • MicroRNA Let-7 regulates molting and metamorphosis in the silkworm, Bombyx
           mori
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 July 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Lin Ling , Xie Ge , Zhiqian Li , Baosheng Zeng , Jun Xu , Abu F.M. Aslam , Qisheng Song , Peng Shang , Yongping Huang , Anjiang Tan
      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous, non-coding, regulatory RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression by binding to the 3′UTRs of mRNA targets and thus cause their degradation or translational inhibition. In insects, important roles of miRNAs in various biological processes have been demonstrated in Drosophila melanogaster. However, biological roles of miRNAs are barely unveiled in the majority of insect species due to limited genetic tools. In the present study, we introduce the transgenic miRNA sponge (miR-SP) technology combining with the binary GAL4/UAS system in the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori, to exploit the biological function of an evolutionally conserved miRNA, let-7. We successfully established transgenic silkworm lines in which a miRNA sponge construct targeting BmLet-7 seed region was expressed in a ubiquitous manner directed by A3-GAL4 driver. Transgenic animals showed decreased expression of BmLet-7, leading to developmental arrestment during the larval–larval and larval–pupal transition. Simultaneously, expression levels of the predicted BmLet-7 target genes, FTZ-F1 and Eip74EF (E74), key regulatory factors in the ecdysone pathway, were elevated in transgenic animals. The current study is the first report on application of the transgenic miR-SP technology in non-drosophilid insects, which will not only contribute to better understanding of let-7 biological roles, but also greatly facilitate future miRNA functional analysis in insects.
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      PubDate: 2014-07-26T22:00:00Z
       
  • Identification of candidate odorant degrading gene/enzyme systems in the
           antennal transcriptome of Drosophila melanogaster
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 July 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Faisal Younus , Thomas Chertemps , Stephen L. Pearce , Gunjan Pandey , Françoise Bozzolan , Christopher W. Coppin , Robyn J. Russell , Martine Maïbèche-Coisne , John G. Oakeshott
      The metabolism of volatile signal molecules by odorant degrading enzymes (ODEs) is crucial to the ongoing sensitivity and specificity of chemoreception in various insects, and a few specific esterases, cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) and UDP-glucosyltransferases (UGTs) have previously been implicated in this process. Significant progress has been made in characterizing ODEs in Lepidoptera but very little is known about them in Diptera, including in Drosophila melanogaster, a major insect model. We have therefore carried out a transcriptomic analysis of the antennae of D. melanogaster in order to identify candidate ODEs. Virgin male and female and mated female antennal transcriptomes were determined by RNAseq. As with the Lepidoptera, we found that many esterases, cytochrome P450 enzymes, GSTs and UGTs are expressed in D. melanogaster antennae. As olfactory genes generally show selective expression in the antennae, a comparison to previously published transcriptomes for other tissues has been performed, showing preferential expression in the antennae for one esterase, JHEdup, one cytochrome P450, CYP308a1, and one GST, GSTE4. These largely uncharacterized enzymes are now prime candidates for ODE functions. Jhedup was expressed heterologously and found to have high catalytic activity against a chemically diverse group of known ester odorants for this species. This is a finding consistent with an ODE although it might suggest a general role in clearing several odorants rather than a specific role in clearing a particular odorant. Our findings do not preclude the possibility of odorant degrading functions for other antennally expressed esterases, P450s, GSTs and UGTs but, if so, they suggest that these enzymes also have additional functions in other tissues.
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      PubDate: 2014-07-26T22:00:00Z
       
  • Two major cuticular proteins are required for assembly of horizontal
           laminae and vertical pore canals in rigid cuticle of Tribolium castaneum
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 July 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Mi Young Noh , Karl J. Kramer , Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan , Michael R. Kanost , Richard W. Beeman , Yasuyuki Arakane
      The insect exoskeleton is composed of cuticle primarily formed from structural cuticular proteins (CPs) and the polysaccharide chitin. Two CPs, TcCPR27 and TcCPR18, are major proteins present in the elytron (highly sclerotized and pigmented modified forewing) as well as the pronotum (dorsal sclerite of the prothorax) and ventral abdominal cuticle of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Both CPs belong to the CPR family, which includes proteins that have an amino acid sequence motif known as the Rebers & Riddiford (R&R) consensus sequence. Injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) for TcCPR27 and TcCPR18 resulted in insects with shorter, wrinkled, warped and less rigid elytra than those from control insects. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the roles of CPs in cuticle assembly, we analyzed for the precise localization of TcCPR27 and the ultrastructural architecture of cuticle in TcCPR27- and TcCPR18-deficient elytra. Transmission electron microscopic analysis combined with immunodetection using gold-labeled secondary antibody revealed that TcCPR27 is present in dorsal elytral procuticle both in the horizontal laminae and in vertical pore canals. dsRNA-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) of TcCPR27 resulted in abnormal electron-lucent laminae and pore canals in elytra except for the boundary between these two structures in which electron-dense molecule(s) apparently accumulated. Insects subjected to RNAi for TcCPR18 also had disorganized laminae and pore canals in the procuticle of elytra. Similar ultrastructural defects were also observed in other body wall regions with rigid cuticle such as the thorax and legs of adult T. castaneum. TcCPR27 and TcCPR18 are required for proper formation of the horizontal chitinous laminae and vertical pore canals that are critical for formation and stabilization of rigid adult cuticle.
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      PubDate: 2014-07-26T22:00:00Z
       
  • Wnt/β-catenin signaling regulates Helicoverpa armigera pupal
           development by up-regulating c-Myc and AP-4
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 July 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Wei Chen , Wei-Hua Xu
      Seasonally changing environmental conditions perceived by insect brains can be converted into hormonal signals that prompt insects to make a decision to develop or enter developmental arrest (diapause). Diapause is a complex physiological response, and many signaling pathways may participate in its regulation. However, little is known about these regulatory pathways. In this study, we cloned four genes related to the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway from Helicoverpa armigera, a pupal diapause species. Western blotting shows that expression of Har-Wnt1, Har-β-catenin, and Har-c-Myc are higher in non-diapause pupal brains than in diapause-destined brains. Har-Wnt1 can promote the accumulation of Har-β-catenin in the nucleus, and Har-β-catenin in turn increases the expression of Har-c-Myc. The blockage of Wnt/β-catenin signaling by the inhibitor XAV939 significantly down-regulates Har-β-catenin and Har-c-Myc expression and delays pupal development, suggesting that the Wnt/β-catenin pathway functions in insect development. Furthermore, Har-c-Myc binds to the promoter of Har-AP-4 and regulates its expression. It has been reported that Har-AP-4 activates diapause hormone (DH) expression and that DH up-regulates the growth hormone ecdysteroid for pupal development. Thus, pupal development is regulated by Wnt/catenin signaling through the pathway Wnt-β-catenin-c-Myc-AP-4-DH-ecdysteroid. In contrast, the down-regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is likely to induce insects to enter diapause.
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      PubDate: 2014-07-26T22:00:00Z
       
  • An independent occurrence of the chimeric P450 enzyme CYP337B3 of
           Helicoverpa armigera confers cypermethrin resistance in Pakistan
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 July 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Author(s): Akhtar Rasool , Nicole Joußen , Sybille Lorenz , Renate Ellinger , Bernd Schneider , Sher Afzal Khan , Muhammad Ashfaq , David G. Heckel
      The increasing resistance level of insect pest species is a major concern to agriculture worldwide. The cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, is one of the most important pest species due to being highly polyphagous, geographically widespread, and resistant towards many chemical classes of insecticides. We previously described the mechanism of fenvalerate resistance in Australian populations conferred by the chimeric cytochrome P450 monooxygenase CYP337B3, which arose by unequal crossing-over between CYP337B1 and CYP337B2. Here, we show that this mechanism is also present in the cypermethrin-resistant FSD strain from Pakistan. The Pakistani and the Australian CYP337B3 alleles differ by 18 synonymous and three nonsynonymous SNPs and additionally in the length and sequence of the intron. Nevertheless, the activity of both CYP337B3 proteins is comparable. We demonstrate that CYP337B3 is capable of metabolizing cypermethrin (trans- and especially cis-isomers) to the main metabolite 4'-hydroxycypermethrin, which exhibits no intrinsic toxicity towards susceptible larvae. In a bioassay, CYP337B3 confers a 7-fold resistance towards cypermethrin in FSD larvae compared to susceptible larvae from the Australian TWB strain lacking CYP337B3. Linkage analysis shows that presence of CYP337B3 accounts for most of the cypermethrin resistance in the FSD strain; up-regulation of other P450s in FSD plays no detectable role in resistance. The presence or absence of CYP337B3 can be easily detected by a simple PCR screen, providing a powerful tool to rapidly distinguish resistant from susceptible individuals in the field and to determine the geographical distribution of this resistance gene. Our results suggest that CYP337B3 evolved twice independently by unequal crossing-over between CYP337B2 and two different CYP337B1 alleles.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-07-26T22:00:00Z
       
  • sHsp22.6, an intronless small heat shock protein gene, is involved in
           stress defence and development in Apis cerana cerana
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2014
      Source:Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Volume 53
      Author(s): Yuanying Zhang , Yaling Liu , Xulei Guo , Yalu Li , Hongru Gao , Xingqi Guo , Baohua Xu
      Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) play an important role in protecting against stress-induced cell damage and fundamental physiological processes. In this study, we identified an intronless sHsp gene from Apis cerana cerana (AccsHsp22.6). The open reading frame of AccsHsp22.6 was 585 bp and encoded a 194 amino acid protein. Furthermore, a 2064 bp 5'-flanking region was isolated, and potential transcription factor binding sites associated with development and stress response were identified. Quantitative PCR and western blot analyses demonstrated that AccsHsp22.6 was detected at higher levels in the midgut than in other tissues tested, and it is highly expressed during the shift to different development stages. Moreover, AccsHsp22.6 was significantly up-regulated by abiotic and biotic stresses, such as 4 °C, 16 °C, 42 °C, cyhalothrin, pyridaben, H2O2, UV, CdCl2, 20-hydroxyecdysone and Ascosphaera apis treatments. However, AccsHsp22.6 was slightly repressed by other stresses, including 25 °C, phoxim, paraquat and HgCl2 treatments. The recombinant AccsHSP22.6 also exhibited significant temperature tolerance, antioxidation and molecular chaperone activity. In addition, we found that knockdown of AccsHsp22.6 by RNA interference remarkably reduced temperature tolerance in A. cerana cerana. Taken together, these results suggest that AccsHsp22.6 plays an essential role in the development stages and defence against cellular stress.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2014-07-26T22:00:00Z
       
 
 
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