Publications by authors named "Shingo Kikuta"

31 Publications

The Cytotoxic Effect of Genistein, a Soybean Isoflavone, against Cultured Cells.

Authors:
Shingo Kikuta

Insects 2020 Apr 12;11(4). Epub 2020 Apr 12.

College of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, Ami, Ibaraki 300-0393, Japan.

The red flour beetle is a known pest of various grains and stored-products such as wheat flours; however, feeds on and infests soybean and soy products. For more than 60 years, soy flour has been suggested to be unstable food for spp. because it causes larval development failure. However, it remains unknown whether soy flour affects adult beetles. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of soy flour and its related isoflavones against . using an artificial dietary intake assay. Beetles were fed gypsum (a non-digestible compound) mixed with either water (control) or soy flour. Significantly fewer beetles survived after being fed the soy flour treatment. Although the soy isoflavone genistein, a defensive agent and secondary metabolite, decreased the . adult survival, it required a long time to have a lethal effect. Therefore, the cytotoxic effects of soy flour, i.e., the rapid biological responses following isoflavone addition, were also examined using a cultured cell line derived from . . Both genistin and genistein significantly affected the survival of the cultured cells, although genistein had a stronger lethal effect. This study demonstrated the toxicity of genistein found in soybean against . cultured cells within 24 h period. Genistein may be used as an oral toxin biopesticide against . .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects11040241DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7240614PMC
April 2020

Response of Tribolium castaneum to dietary mannitol, with remarks on its possible nutritive effects.

Authors:
Shingo Kikuta

PLoS One 2018 14;13(11):e0207497. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

College of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, Ami, Ibaraki, Japan.

Mannitol, one of the sugar alcohols, is often used as a low-calorific carbohydrate by animals. In some insects, mannitol acts as a cryoprotectant to endure coldness, but also become a poisonous agent. Adults of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum were shown to recognize mannitol as a factor stimulating their feeding behavior, but it remains unclear whether T. castaneum can utilize mannitol as a source of nutrition, because the enzymes needed to metabolize mannitol are unknown in this species. This study shows that T. castaneum utilizes mannitol as a nutrient in a dietary assay based on a sole carbon source added to artificial gypsum diet. The amount of mannitol excreted was less than that ingested, suggesting that it is absorbed in the insect body. The hemolymph of T. castaneum contained no mannitol but contained trehalose, a known blood sugar in insects, even after being fed mannitol. This study also revealed that dietary mannitol was metabolized to triglyceride, the main component of the fat body, forming lipid droplets. It was found that metabolites of a mannitol-supplemented diet extend the lifespan of T. castaneum, compared with those obtained by metabolizing a mannitol-free diet. Given that the insects presented transcriptional changes upon being fed carbohydrates, it might be possible to identify specific genes related to mannitol-specific metabolism by their upregulation upon mannitol intake in T. castaneum. The present study investigated mannitol-responsive gene expression using RNA-Seq. Twenty-eight genes, including those encoding trehalose-6-phosphate synthase and fatty acid synthase, were differentially expressed between beetles that were fed or not fed mannitol. The identification of upregulated genes provides us with important insights into the molecular events following mannitol intake.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207497PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6235386PMC
April 2019

Molecular and functional characterization of glucose transporter genes of the fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis.

Mol Biochem Parasitol 2018 10 18;225:7-14. Epub 2018 Aug 18.

Laboratory of Medical Zoology, Nihon University College of Bioresource Sciences, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan. Electronic address:

Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a zoonotic parasitosis caused by larvae of the fox tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis. E. multilocularis is distributed widely in the Northern hemisphere, causing serious health problems in various animals and humans. E. multilocularis, like other cestodes, lacks a digestive tract and absorbs essential nutrients, including glucose, across the syncytial tegument on its external surface. Therefore, it is hypothesized that E. multilocularis uses glucose transporters on its surface similar to a closely-related species, Taenia solium. Based on this hypothesis, we cloned and characterized glucose transporter homologues from E. multilocularis. As a result, we obtained full-length sequences of 2 putative glucose transporter genes (EmGLUT1 and EmGLUT2) from E. multilocularis. In silico analysis predicted that these were classified in the solute carrier family 2 group. Functional expression analysis using Xenopus oocytes demonstrated clear uptake of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) by EmGLUT1, but not by EmGLUT2 in this experimental system. EmGLUT1 was shown to have relatively high glucose transport activity. Further analyses using the Xenopus oocyte system revealed that 2-DG uptake of EmGLUT1 did not depend on the presence or concentration of Na nor H, respectively. Immunoblot analyses using cultured metacestode, ex vivo protoscolex, and adult worm samples demonstrated that both EmGLUTs were stably expressed during each developmental stage of the parasite. Based on the above-mentioned findings, we conclude that EmGLUT1 is a simple facilitated glucose transporter and possibly plays an important role in glucose uptake by E. multilocularis throughout its life cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molbiopara.2018.08.004DOI Listing
October 2018

Extracellular loop structures in silkworm ABCC transporters determine their specificities for Cry toxins.

J Biol Chem 2018 06 17;293(22):8569-8577. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

From the Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan and

Cry toxins are insecticidal proteins used widely for pest control. They are lethal to a restricted range of insects via specific interactions with insect receptors such as the ABC transporter subfamily members C2 (ABCC2) and C3 (ABCC3). However, it is still unclear how these different receptors contribute to insect susceptibility to Cry1A toxins. Here, we investigated the differences between the silkworm () ABCC2 (BmABCC2_S) and ABCC3 (BmABCC3) receptors in mediating Cry toxicity. Compared with BmABCC2_S, BmABCC3 exhibited 80- and 267-fold lower binding affinities to Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab, respectively, and these decreased affinities correlated well with the lower receptor activities of BmABCC3 for these Cry1A toxins. To identify the amino acid residues responsible for these differences, we constructed BmABCC3 variants containing a partial amino acid replacement with extracellular loops (ECLs) from BmABCC2_S. Replacing three amino acids from ECL 1 or 3 increased BmABCC3 activity toward Cry1Aa and enabled its activity toward Cry1Ab. Meanwhile, BmABCC2_S and BmABCC3 exhibited no receptor activities for Cry1Ca, Cry1Da, and Cry3Bb, correlating with markedly lower binding affinities for these Cry toxins. ABCC2 from a Cry1Ab-resistant strain (BmABCC2_R), which has a tyrosine insertion in ECL 2, displayed 93-fold lower binding affinity to Cry1Ab compared with BmABCC2_S but maintained high binding affinity to Cry1Aa. These results indicate that the Cry toxin-binding affinities of ABCC transporters are largely linked to the level of Cry susceptibility of ABCC-expressing cells and that the ABCC ECL structures determine the specificities to Cry toxins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA118.001761DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986200PMC
June 2018

The intracellular region of silkworm cadherin-like protein is not necessary to mediate the toxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab toxins.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2018 03 6;94:36-41. Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

The cadherin-like protein in lepidopteran insects, known as a receptor for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxins, is a single-pass membrane protein that can be divided into extracellular and intracellular regions. The extracellular region is important for toxin binding and oligomerization, whereas the role of the intracellular region during Cry1A intoxication is unclear. In the present study, we generated a deletion mutant of Bombyx mori cadherin-like protein (BtR175) that lacked the intracellular region to investigate its role in mediating Cry1A toxicity. Like wild-type BtR175, the mutant protein conferred susceptibility to Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab toxins in Sf9 cells, suggesting that the intracellular region is not required to mediate intoxication. The deletion mutant maintained another role of cadherin-like proteins; that it, synergistic activity with B. mori ABC transporter C2 (ABCC2) when mediating Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab toxicity. In addition, we evaluated the effects of reagents that have been reported to inhibit Cry1A toxicity (e.g., protein kinase A inhibitors, EDTA, and sucrose) on Cry1A toxicity in BtR175-expressing cells. Our results suggest that Cry1Aa-induced cell death in BtR175-expressing cells was not caused by signal transduction but by osmotic lysis. Overall, our data indicate that BtR175 mediates the toxicity of Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab toxins entirely via its extracellular region. They also indicate that the synergism between cadherin-like protein and ABCC2 occurs outside of cells or in the cell membrane.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2018.01.005DOI Listing
March 2018

Differential expression of a fructose receptor gene in honey bee workers according to age and behavioral role.

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol 2018 Feb 1;97(2). Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Japan.

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers contribute to the maintenance of colonies in various ways. The primary functions of workers are divided into two types depending on age: young workers (nurses) primarily engage in such behaviors as cleaning and food handling within the hive, whereas older workers (foragers) acquire floral nutrients beyond the colony. Concomitant with this age-dependent change in activity, physiological changes occur in the tissues and organs of workers. Nurses supply younger larvae with honey containing high levels of glucose and supply older larvae with honey containing high levels of fructose. Given that nurses must determine both the concentration and type of sugar used in honey, gustatory receptors (Gr) expressed in the chemosensory organs likely play a role in distinguishing between sugars. Glucose is recognized by Gr1 in honey bees (AmGr1); however, it remains unclear which Gr are responsible for fructose recognition. This study aimed to identify fructose receptors in honey bees and reported that AmGr3, when transiently expressed in Xenopus oocytes, responded only to fructose, and to no other sugars. We analyzed expression levels of AmGr3 to identify which tissues and organs of workers are involved in fructose recognition and determined that expression of AmGr3 was particularly high in the antennae and legs of nurses. Our results suggest that nurses use their antennae and legs to recognize fructose, and that AmGr3 functions as an accurate nutrient sensor used to maintain food quality in honey bee hives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arch.21437DOI Listing
February 2018

Bombyx mori ABC transporter C2 structures responsible for the receptor function of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2017 12 8;91:44-54. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Naka 2-24-16, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

Because Bombyx mori ABC transporter C2 (BmABCC2) has 1000-fold higher potential than B. mori cadherin-like protein as a receptor for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa toxin (Tanaka et al., 2013), the gate-opening ability of the latent pore under six extracellular loops (ECLs) of BmABCC2 was expected to be the reason for its higher potential (Heckel, 2012). In this study, cell swelling assays in Sf9 cells showed that BmABCC2 mutants lacking substrate-excreting activity retained receptor activity, indicating that the gate-opening activity of BmABCC2 is not responsible for Cry1Aa toxicity. The analysis of 29 BmABCC2 mutants demonstrated that DYWL of ECL 4 comprise a putative binding site to Cry1Aa. This suggests that specific toxicity of Cry1Aa toxin to a restricted range of lepidopteran insects is dependent on conservation and variation in the amino acid residues around DYWL of ECL 4 in the ABCC2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2017.11.002DOI Listing
December 2017

A mannitol/sorbitol receptor stimulates dietary intake in Tribolium castaneum.

PLoS One 2017 12;12(10):e0186420. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo, Japan.

In insects, perception of chemical stimuli is involved in the acceptance or rejection of food. Gustatory receptors (Grs) that regulate external signals in chemosensory organs have been found in many insects. Tribolium castaneum, a major pest of stored products, possesses over 200 Gr genes. An expanded repertoire of Gr genes appears to be required for diet recognition in species that are generalist feeders; however, it remains unclear whether T. castaneum recognizes a suite of chemicals common to many products or whether its feeding is activated by specific chemicals, and whether its Grs are involved in feeding behavior. It is difficult to determine the food preferences of T. castaneum based on dietary intake due to a lack of appropriate methodology. This study established a novel dietary intake estimation method using gypsum, designated the TribUTE (Tribolium Urges To Eat) assay. For this assay, T. castaneum adults were fed a gypsum block without added organic compounds. Sweet preference was determined by adding sweeteners and measuring the amount of gypsum in the excreta. Mannitol was the strongest activator of T. castaneum dietary intake. In a Xenopus oocyte expression, TcGr20 was found to be responsible for mannitol and sorbitol responses, but not for responses to other tested non-volatile compounds. The EC50 values of TcGr20 for mannitol and sorbitol were 72.6 mM and 90.6 mM, respectively, suggesting that TcGr20 is a feasible receptor for the recognition of mannitol at lower concentrations. We used RNAi and the TribUTE assay to examine whether TcGr20 expression was involved in mannitol recognition. The amounts of excreta in TcGr20 dsRNA-injected adults decreased significantly, despite the presence of mannitol, compared to control adults. Taken together, our results indicate that T. castaneum adults recognized mannitol/sorbitol using the TcGr20 receptor, thereby facilitating the dietary intake of these compounds.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186420PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5638539PMC
October 2017

Towards water-free biobanks: long-term dry-preservation at room temperature of desiccation-sensitive enzyme luciferase in air-dried insect cells.

Sci Rep 2017 07 26;7(1):6540. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8634, Japan.

Desiccation-tolerant cultured cells Pv11 derived from the anhydrobiotic midge embryo endure complete desiccation in an ametabolic state and resume their metabolism after rehydration. These features led us to develop a novel dry preservation technology for enzymes as it was still unclear whether Pv11 cells could preserve an exogenous enzyme in the dry state. This study shows that Pv11 cells protect an exogenous desiccation-sensitive enzyme, luciferase (Luc), preserving the enzymatic activity even after dry storage for 372 days at room temperature. A process including preincubation with trehalose, dehydration, storage, and rehydration allowed Pv11 (Pv11-Luc) cells stably expressing luciferase to survive desiccation and still emit luminescence caused by luciferase after rehydration. Luminescence produced by luciferase in Pv11-Luc cells after rehydration did not significantly decrease in presence of a translation inhibitor, showing that the activity did not derive from de novo enzyme synthesis following the resumption of cell metabolism. These findings indicate that the surviving Pv11 cells almost completely protect luciferase during desiccation. Lacking of the preincubation step resulted in the loss of luciferase activity after rehydration. We showed that preincubation with trehalose associated to induction of desiccation tolerance-related genes in Pv11 cells allowed effective in vivo preservation of enzymes in the dry state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06945-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5529557PMC
July 2017

Cry toxin specificities of insect ABCC transporters closely related to lepidopteran ABCC2 transporters.

Peptides 2017 Dec 14;98:86-92. Epub 2017 Apr 14.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

In this study, we examined insect and human ABCC transporters closely related to the lepidopteran ABC transporter C2 (ABCC2), a powerful receptor for the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxin, for their responses to various Cry toxins. ABCC2 and the lepidopteran ABC transporter C3 (ABCC3) conferred cultured cells with susceptibility to a lepidopteran-specific Cry1Aa toxin but not to lepidopteran-specific Cry1Ca and Cry1Da. One coleopteran ABCC transporter specifically responded to a coleopteran-specific Cry8Ca toxin. ABCC transporters from a dipteran insect and humans did not respond to any of the tested Cry toxins that are active to lepidopteran and coleopteran insects. These results yield important information for our understanding of insect specificity of Cry toxins and provide the first demonstration of a coleopteran ABCC transporter that serves as a Cry toxin receptor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peptides.2017.04.003DOI Listing
December 2017

Water influx via aquaporin directly determines necrotic cell death induced by the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxin.

FEBS Lett 2017 Jan 20;591(1):56-64. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Japan.

The Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxin causes swelling and necrosis in insect cells, but the route(s) and significance of the water influx involved in its cytotoxicity are unclear. Here, we assessed the role of aquaporins (AQPs), known as water channels, in Cry toxin intoxication. An AQP inhibitor did not interfere with any known process to form the toxin pore, but it diminished the cell swelling and loss of membrane integrity induced by the Cry toxin. Overexpression of AQPs facilitated water influx and cytotoxicity. Our results demonstrate that water influx via aquaporin directly determines necrotic cell death induced by the Cry toxin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1873-3468.12506DOI Listing
January 2017

The domain II loops of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa form an overlapping interaction site for two Bombyx mori larvae functional receptors, ABC transporter C2 and cadherin-like receptor.

Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins Proteom 2017 Feb 23;1865(2):220-231. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan. Electronic address:

Information about the receptor-interaction region of Cry toxins, insecticidal proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, is needed to elucidate the mode of action of Cry toxins and improve their toxicity through protein engineering. We analyzed the interaction sites on Cry1Aa with ABC transporter C2 (ABCC2), one of the most important Cry1A toxin receptors. A competitive binding assay revealed that the Bombyx mori ABCC2 (BmABCC2) Cry1A binding site was the same as the BtR175 binding site, suggesting that the loop region of Cry1Aa domain II is a binding site. Next, we constructed several domain II loop mutant toxins and tested their binding affinity in an SPR analysis, and also performed a cell swelling assay to evaluate receptor-mediated cytotoxicity. Our results indicate that the loop regions required for BtR175 and BmABCC2 binding and the regions important for cytotoxicity partially overlap. Our results also suggest that receptor binding is necessary but not sufficient for cytotoxicity. This is the first report showing the region of interaction between ABCC2 and Cry1Aa and the cytotoxicity-relevant properties of the Cry1Aa domain II loop region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbapap.2016.11.011DOI Listing
February 2017

Functional characterization of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxin receptors explains resistance in insects.

FEBS J 2016 12 29;283(24):4474-4490. Epub 2016 Nov 29.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan.

Bacillus thuringiensis produces Cry toxins, which are used as insecticides in sprays and in transgenic crops. However, little is known about the function of Cry toxin receptors and the mechanisms that determine their binding specificity and activity. In this study, the cRNAs of Bombyx mori ABC transporter C2 (BmABCC2), the toxin-binding region of cadherin-like receptor (BtR175-TBR), or aminopeptidase N1 (BmAPN1) were injected into Xenopus oocytes, and the Cry1Aa-dependent cation-selective pore formation activities of these receptors were analyzed using a two-electrode voltage clamp. Cation current passing through the pores was detected within 25 s, and increased in a linear fashion in BmABCC2-expressing oocytes treated with 88 nm Cry1Aa. This result suggested that Cry1Aa continuously made stable pores with the help of BmABCC2. In contrast, no cation current was observed until 60 min after incubation with 500 nm Cry1Aa in BtR175TBR-expressing oocytes even though oligomerization of Cry1Aa progressed. This result indicated that in the presence of BtR175-TBR most of the oligomerized toxin could not enter the cell membrane. However, oocytes that simultaneously expressed both receptors demonstrated that BtR175-TBR exerted a synergistic effect with BmABCC2 on pore formation in the presence of 22 nm Cry1Aa. These results confirm that the main reason for moderate-level resistance in insects lacking the cadherin-like receptor but expressing ABCC2 is the absence of a similar synergistic promotion of toxin oligomerization. Similar to results from our previous report evaluating ectopic expression in the Sf9/Baculovirus system, BmAPN1 could not by itself cause Cry1A-related pore formation, despite the fact that BmAPN1 gathered toxin on the oocytes as well as BmABCC2 did.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/febs.13952DOI Listing
December 2016

Establishment of gene transfer and gene silencing methods in a desiccation-tolerant cell line, Pv11.

Extremophiles 2017 Jan 18;21(1):65-72. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Anhydrobiosis Research Group, Molecular Biomimetics Research Unit, Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO (NIAS), Tsukuba, Japan.

Larvae of the African midge Polypedilum vanderplanki show extreme desiccation tolerance, known as anhydrobiosis. Recently, the cultured cell line Pv11 was derived from this species; Pv11 cells can be preserved in the dry state for over 6 months and retain their proliferation potential. Here, we attempted to expand the use of Pv11 cells as a model to investigate the mechanisms underlying anhydrobiosis in P. vanderplanki. A newly developed vector comprising a constitutive promoter for the PvGapdh gene allowed the expression of exogenous proteins in Pv11 cells. Using this vector, a stable Pv11 cell line expressing green fluorescence protein (GFP) was established and retained desiccation tolerance. Gene silencing with GFP-specific siRNAs significantly suppressed GFP expression to approximately 7.5-34.6% of that in the non-siRNA-transfected GFP stable line. Establishment of these functional assays will enable Pv11 cells to be utilized as an effective tool to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying anhydrobiosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00792-016-0880-4DOI Listing
January 2017

Expression of the fructose receptor BmGr9 and its involvement in the promotion of feeding, suggested by its co-expression with neuropeptide F1 in Bombyx mori.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2016 08 7;75:58-69. Epub 2016 Jun 7.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei 2-24-16, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

Insect gustatory receptors (Grs) are members of a large family of proteins with seven transmembrane domains that provide insects with the ability to detect chemical signals critical for feeding, mating, and oviposition. To date, 69 Bombyx mori Grs (BmGrs) genes have been identified via genome studies. BmGr9 has been shown to respond specifically to fructose and to function as a ligand-gated ion channel selectively activated by fructose. However, the sites where this Gr are expressed remain unclear. We demonstrated using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR that BmGr9 is widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), as well as oral sensory organs. Additionally, immunohistochemistry was performed using anti-BmGr9 antiserum to show that BmGr9 is expressed in cells of the oral sensory organs, including the maxillary galea, maxillary palps, labrum, and labium, as well as in putative neurosecretory cells of the CNS. Furthermore, double immunohistochemical analysis showed that most BmGr9-expressing cells co-localized with putative neuropeptide F1-expressing cells in the brain, suggesting that BmGr9 is involved in the promotion of feeding behaviors. In addition, a portion of BmGr9-expressing cells in the brain co-localized with cells expressing BmGr6, a molecule of the sugar receptor clade, suggesting that sugars other than fructose are involved in the regulation of feeding behaviors in B. mori larvae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2016.06.001DOI Listing
August 2016

Characterization of a ligand-gated cation channel based on an inositol receptor in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2016 07 27;74:12-20. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

Insect herbivores recognize non-volatile compounds in plants to direct their feeding behavior. Gustatory receptors (Gr) appear to be required for nutrient recognition by gustatory organs in the mouthparts of insects. Gr10 is expressed in Bombyx mori (BmGr10) mouthparts such as maxillary galea, maxillary palp, and labrum. BmGr10 is predicted to function in sugar recognition; however, the precise biochemical function remains obscure. Larvae of B. mori are monophagous feeders able to find and feed on mulberry leaves. Soluble mulberry leaf extract contains sucrose, glucose, fructose, and myo-inositol. In this study, we identified BmGr10 as an inositol receptor using electrophysiological analysis with the Xenopus oocyte expression system and Ca(2+) imaging techniques using mammalian cells. These results demonstrated that Xenopus oocytes or HEK293T cells expressing BmGr10 specifically respond to myo-inositol and epi-inositol but do not respond to any mono-, di-, or tri-saccharides or to some sugar alcohols. These inositols caused Ca(2+) and Na(+) influxes into the cytoplasm independently of a G protein-mediated signaling cascade, indicating that BmGr10 is a ligand-gated cation channel. Overall, BmGr10 plays an important role in the myo-inositol recognition required for B. mori larval feeding behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2016.04.010DOI Listing
July 2016

Single amino acid insertions in extracellular loop 2 of Bombyx mori ABCC2 disrupt its receptor function for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac but not Cry1Aa toxins.

Peptides 2016 Apr 27;78:99-108. Epub 2016 Feb 27.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address:

In a previous report, seven Cry1Ab-resistant strains were identified in the silkworm, Bombyx mori; these strains were shown to have a tyrosine insertion at position 234 in extracellular loop 2 of the ABC transporter C2 (BmABCC2). This insertion was confirmed to destroy the receptor function of BmABCC2 and confer the strains resistance against Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac. However, these strains were susceptible to Cry1Aa. In this report, we examined the mechanisms of the loss of receptor function of the transporter by expressing mutations in Sf9 cells. After replacement of one or two of the five amino acid residues in loop 2 of the susceptible BmABCC2 gene [BmABCC2_S] with alanine, cells still showed susceptibility, retaining the receptor function. Five mutants with single amino acid insertions at position 234 in BmABCC2 were also generated, resulting in loop 2 having six amino acids, which corresponds to replacing the tyrosine insertion in the resistant BmABCC2 gene [BmABCC2_R(+(234)Y)] with another amino acid. All five mutants exhibited loss of function against Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac. These results suggest that the amino acid sequence in loop 2 is less important than the loop size (five vs. six amino acids) or loop structure for Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac activity. Several domain-swapped mutant toxins were then generated among Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, and Cry1Ac, which are composed of three domains. Swapped mutants containing domain II of Cry1Ab or Cry1Ac did not kill Sf9 cells expressing BmABCC2_R(+(234)Y), suggesting that domain II of the Cry toxin is related to the interaction with the receptor function of BmABCC2. This also suggests that different reactions against Bt-toxins in some B. mori strains, that is, Cry1Ab resistance or Cry1Aa susceptibility, are attributable to structural differences in domain II of Cry1A toxins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peptides.2016.01.006DOI Listing
April 2016

Expression of a sugar clade gustatory receptor, BmGr6, in the oral sensory organs, midgut, and central nervous system of larvae of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2016 Mar 23;70:85-98. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Graduate School of Bio-Application and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei 2-24-16, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

Insects taste nonvolatile chemicals through gustatory receptors (Grs) and make choices for feeding, mating, and oviposition. To date, genome projects have identified 69 Gr genes in the silkworm, Bombyx mori; however, the expression sites of these Grs remain to be explored. In this study, we used reverse transcription (RT)-PCR to investigate expression of the B. mori Gr-6 (BmGr6) gene, a member of the putative sugar clade gene family in various tissues. BmGr6 is expressed in the midgut, central nervous system (CNS), and oral sensory organs. Moreover, immunohistochemistry using an anti-BmGr6 antiserum demonstrated that BmGr6 is expressed in cells by oral sensory organs, midgut and nervous system. Furthermore, double-immunohistochemistry indicated that BmGr6 is expressed in midgut enteroendocrine cells, also in CNS neurosecretory cells. In particular, a portion of BmGr6-expressing cells, in both midgut and CNS, secretes FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs). These results suggest that BmGr6 functions not only as a taste receptor, but also as a chemical sensor such as for the regulation of gut movement, physiological conditions, and feeding behavior of larvae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.12.008DOI Listing
March 2016

Mechanisms of nodule-specific melanization in the hemocoel of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2016 Mar 18;70:10-23. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Graduate School of Bio-Application and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Naka-cho, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

In the insect immune system, nodules are known to be a product of the cellular response against microorganisms and may be a preferential target for melanization. However, the mechanism of nodule-preferential melanization remains to be explored. In this study, we identified several mechanisms of nodule-preferential melanization by analyzing congregation and the activation of several factors involved in the prophenoloxidase (proPO)-activating system in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Microorganism-binding assays revealed that B. mori larval plasma have an effective invading microorganism-surveillance network consisting of at least six pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs). We also found that a hemolymph serine proteinase, BmHP14, can bind to Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Pull-down assays showed that PRR C-type lectins form protein complexes with serine proteinase homologs, BmSPH1 and BmSPH2, which leads to the activated forms of BmSPH1 and BmSPH2 being gathered on microorganisms and trapped in nodules. Immunostaining analysis revealed that most factors in the proPO-activating system and some factors in the triggering system for antimicrobial peptide production exist in the granules of hemocytes which can gather in nodules. Western blot analysis showed that factors in the proPO-activating system are congregated in formed nodules by their concentration in plasma and aggregating hemocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.12.005DOI Listing
March 2016

A novel functional glucose transporter in the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei -LvGLUT2- is up-regulated during hypoxia in hepatopancreas.

Mar Environ Res 2015 Dec 14;112(Pt A):61-7. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo. A.C., Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Electronic address:

In hypoxia conditions, the white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei shifts its energetic metabolism from aerobic to anaerobic, requiring more glucose uptake into the cells by GLUT proteins. We here report a novel glucose transporter in shrimp. The Lvglut2 cDNA is 2473 bp-long containing an ORF of 1458 bp encoding 486 amino acid residues. The deduced protein has the features of a facilitative sugar transporter. The Lvglut2 gene product tagged with GFP was expressed in the cell membrane of Xenopus oocytes. In the same expression system, untagged LvGLUT2 resulted to be a bidirectional glucose transporter that functions moving glucose down its concentration gradient in and out of the cell. Lvglut2 mRNA is expressed in hepatopancreas while in muscle and gills it was not detected. Hypoxia up-regulates the expression of Lvglut2 transcripts in hepatopancreas. These results provide a better understanding of facilitative glucose transporters and gene regulation during hypoxia in crustaceans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2015.09.007DOI Listing
December 2015

Herbivory-induced glucose transporter gene expression in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2015 Sep 28;64:60-7. Epub 2015 Jul 28.

National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan; Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Science, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8562, Japan. Electronic address:

Nilaparvata lugens, the brown planthopper (BPH) feeds on rice phloem sap, containing high amounts of sucrose as a carbon source. Nutrients such as sugars in the digestive tract are incorporated into the body cavity via transporters with substrate selectivity. Eighteen sugar transporter genes of BPH (Nlst) were reported and three transporters have been functionally characterized. However, individual characteristics of NlST members associated with sugar transport remain poorly understood. Comparative gene expression analyses using oligo-microarray and quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the sugar transporter gene Nlst16 was markedly up-regulated during BPH feeding. Expression of Nlst16 was induced 2 h after BPH feeding on rice plants. Nlst16, mainly expressed in the midgut, appears to be involved in carbohydrate incorporation from the gut cavity into the hemolymph. Nlst1 (NlHT1), the most highly expressed sugar transporter gene in the midgut was not up-regulated during BPH feeding. The biochemical function of NlST16 was shown as facilitative glucose transport along gradients. Glucose uptake activity by NlST16 was higher than that of NlST1 in the Xenopus oocyte expression system. At least two NlST members are responsible for glucose uptake in the BPH midgut, suggesting that the midgut of BPH is equipped with various types of transporters having diversified manner for sugar uptake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.07.015DOI Listing
September 2015

FRET sensor-based quantification of intracellular trehalose in mammalian cells.

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2016 27;80(1):162-5. Epub 2015 Jul 27.

a Insect Mimetics Research Unit , National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences , Tsukuba , Japan.

Trehalose acts as a stress protectant and an autophagy inducer in mammalian cells. The molecular mechanisms of action remain obscure because intracellular trehalose at micromolar level is difficult to quantitate. Here, we show a novel trehalose monitoring technology based on FRET. FLIP-suc90μ∆1Venus sensor expressed in mammalian cells enables to quickly and non-destructively detect an infinitesimal amount of intracellular trehalose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09168451.2015.1069699DOI Listing
September 2016

Diversity of the expression profiles of late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) protein encoding genes in the anhydrobiotic midge Polypedilum vanderplanki.

Planta 2015 Aug 31;242(2):451-9. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS), Tsukuba, Japan.

Main Conclusion: In the anhydrobiotic midge Polypedilum vanderplanki , LEA family proteins are likely to play distinct temporal and spatial roles in the larvae throughout the process of desiccation and rehydration. The larvae of the anhydrobiotic midge, P. vanderplanki, which can tolerate almost complete desiccation, accumulate late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins in response to drying. Using complete genome data of the midge, we have identified 27 PvLea1-like genes based on the similarity to previously characterized PvLea1 gene belonging to group 3 LEA proteins. Generally, group 3 LEA proteins are characterized by several repetitions of an 11-mer motif. However, some PvLea genes lack the canonical motif in their sequences. We performed the detailed characterization of all 27 PvLea genes in terms of biochemical and biophysical properties and conserved motifs. The motif analysis among their amino acid sequences revealed that all 27 PvLEA proteins have at least one of two types of motifs (motif 1: G AKDTTKEKLGE AKDATAEKLG or motif 2: KD ILExAKDKLxD AKDAVKEKL), indicating the presence of at least two repeated 11-mer LEA motifs. Most of PvLEA proteins were localized to the cytosol. We also performed quantitative real-time PCR of all 27 PvLea genes in detail during the process of desiccation and rehydration. The expression of these genes was upregulated at the beginning of dehydration, the latter phase of the desiccation process and on rehydration process. These data suggested that each LEA protein is likely to play distinct temporal and spatial roles in the larvae throughout the process of desiccation and rehydration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-015-2284-6DOI Listing
August 2015

Comparative genome sequencing reveals genomic signature of extreme desiccation tolerance in the anhydrobiotic midge.

Nat Commun 2014 Sep 12;5:4784. Epub 2014 Sep 12.

National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS), Tsukuba 305-8602, Japan.

Anhydrobiosis represents an extreme example of tolerance adaptation to water loss, where an organism can survive in an ametabolic state until water returns. Here we report the first comparative analysis examining the genomic background of extreme desiccation tolerance, which is exclusively found in larvae of the only anhydrobiotic insect, Polypedilum vanderplanki. We compare the genomes of P. vanderplanki and a congeneric desiccation-sensitive midge P. nubifer. We determine that the genome of the anhydrobiotic species specifically contains clusters of multi-copy genes with products that act as molecular shields. In addition, the genome possesses several groups of genes with high similarity to known protective proteins. However, these genes are located in distinct paralogous clusters in the genome apart from the classical orthologues of the corresponding genes shared by both chironomids and other insects. The transcripts of these clustered paralogues contribute to a large majority of the mRNA pool in the desiccating larvae and most likely define successful anhydrobiosis. Comparison of expression patterns of orthologues between two chironomid species provides evidence for the existence of desiccation-specific gene expression systems in P. vanderplanki.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5784DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4175575PMC
September 2014

Affinity maturation of Cry1Aa toxin to the Bombyx mori cadherin-like receptor by directed evolution based on phage display and biopanning selections of domain II loop 2 mutant toxins.

Microbiologyopen 2014 Aug 16;3(4):568-77. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo, 184-8588, Japan.

Directed evolution of a Cry1Aa toxin using phage display and biopanning was performed to generate an increased binding affinity to the Bombyx mori cadherin-like receptor (BtR175). Three mutant toxins (371 WGLA374 , 371 WPHH374 , 371 WRPQ374 25) with 16-, 16-, and 50-fold higher binding affinities, respectively, for BtR175 were selected from a phage library containing toxins with mutations in domain II loop 2. However, the observed toxicities of the three mutants against B. mori larvae and cultured cells expressing the BtR175 toxin-binding region did not increase, suggesting that increased binding affinity to cadherins does not contribute to the insecticidal activity. Affinity maturation of a Cry toxin to a receptor via directed evolution was relatively simple to achieve, and seems to have potential for generating a toxin with increased insecticidal activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mbo3.188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4287183PMC
August 2014

Factors functioning in nodule melanization of insects and their mechanisms of accumulation in nodules.

J Insect Physiol 2014 Jan 19;60:40-9. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Naka-cho, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan. Electronic address:

Nodules consisting of hemocytes and trapped microorganisms are important targets for melanization, which is best known in the insect immune system. We investigated factors functioning in nodule melanization and the mechanism by which these factors congregate in the nodule. BmHP21, BmSPH1 and BmSPH2, Bombyx mori orthologs of Manduca sexta serine protease HP21, serine protease homologs (SPH1 and SPH2), and a prophenoloxidase, BmPO1 were observed as inactive forms in the plasma, but as putatively active forms in the nodule. Production of prophenoloxidase-activating proteinases, BmPAP1 and BmPAP3/PPAE and BmPO1 were confirmed in hemocytes. BmSPH1 and BmSPH2 were observed on trapped bacterial cells in the nodule and were isolated from the surface of bacterial cells incubated with plasma. BmSPH1 and BmSPH2 were found in plasma in complex with a pattern recognition receptor, BmLBP. These data suggest that melanization-regulating factors congregate in nodules through a combination of microorganism-dependent and hemocyte-dependent routes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2013.11.003DOI Listing
January 2014

Mutation of a novel ABC transporter gene is responsible for the failure to incorporate uric acid in the epidermis of ok mutants of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2013 Jul 6;43(7):562-71. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

ok mutants of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, exhibit highly translucent larval skin resulting from the inability to incorporate uric acid into the epidermal cells. Here we report the identification of a gene responsible for the ok mutation using positional cloning and RNAi experiments. In two independent ok mutant strains, we found a 49-bp deletion and a 233-bp duplication, respectively, in mRNAs of a novel gene, Bm-ok, which encodes a half-type ABC transporter, each of which results in translation of a truncated protein in each mutant. Although the Bm-ok sequence was homologous to well-known transporter genes, white, scarlet, and brown in Drosophila, the discovery of novel orthologs in the genomes of lepidopteran, hymenopteran, and hemipteran insects identifies it as a member of a new distinct subfamily of transporters. Embryonic RNAi of Bm-ok demonstrated that repression of Bm-ok causes a translucent phenotype in the first-instar silkworm larva. We discuss the possibility that Bm-ok forms a heterodimer with another half-type ABC transporter, Bmwh3, and acts as a uric acid transporter in the silkworm epidermis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.03.011DOI Listing
July 2013

A novel member of the trehalose transporter family functions as an h(+)-dependent trehalose transporter in the reabsorption of trehalose in malpighian tubules.

Front Physiol 2012 25;3:290. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

In insects, Malpighian tubules are functionally analogous to mammalian kidneys in that they not only are essential to excrete waste molecules into the lumen but also are responsible for the reabsorption of indispensable molecules, such as sugars, from the lumen to the principal cells. Among sugars, the disaccharide trehalose is highly important to insects because it is the main hemolymph sugar to serve as a source of energy and carbon. The trehalose transporter TRET1 participates in the transfer of newly synthesized trehalose from the fat body across the cellular membrane into the hemolymph. Although transport proteins must play a pivotal role in the reabsorption of trehalose in Malpighian tubules, the molecular context underlying this process remains obscure. Previously, we identified a Tret1 homolog (Nlst8) that is expressed principally in the Malpighian tubules of the brown planthopper (BPH). Here, we used the Xenopus oocyte expression system to show that NlST8 exerts trehalose transport activity that is elevated under low pH conditions. These functional assays indicate that Nlst8 encodes a proton-dependent trehalose transporter (H-TRET1). To examine the involvement of Nlst8 in trehalose reabsorption, we analyzed the sugar composition of honeydew by using BPH with RNAi gene silencing. Trehalose was detected in the honeydew as waste excreted from Nlst8-dsRNA-injected BPH under hyperglycemic conditions. However, trehalose was not expelled from GFP-dsRNA-injected BPH even under hyperglycemic conditions. We conclude that NlST8 could participate in trehalose reabsorption driven by a H(+) gradient from the lumen to the principal cells of the Malpighian tubules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2012.00290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3429062PMC
October 2012

Enzymatic control of anhydrobiosis-related accumulation of trehalose in the sleeping chironomid, Polypedilum vanderplanki.

FEBS J 2010 Oct 6;277(20):4215-28. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

Anhydrobiosis Research Unit, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Larvae of an anhydrobiotic insect, Polypedilum vanderplanki, accumulate very large amounts of trehalose as a compatible solute on desiccation, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this accumulation are unclear. We therefore isolated the genes coding for trehalose metabolism enzymes, i.e. trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS) and trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (TPP) for the synthesis step, and trehalase (TREH) for the degradation step. Although computational prediction indicated that the alternative splicing variants (PvTpsα/β) obtained encoded probable functional motifs consisting of a typical consensus domain of TPS and a conserved sequence of TPP, PvTpsα did not exert activity as TPP, but only as TPS. Instead, a distinct gene (PvTpp) obtained expressed TPP activity. Previous reports have suggested that insect TPS is, exceptionally, a bifunctional enzyme governing both TPS and TPP. In this article, we propose that TPS and TPP activities in insects can be attributed to discrete genes. The translated product of the TREH ortholog (PvTreh) certainly degraded trehalose to glucose. Trehalose was synthesized abundantly, consistent with increased activities of TPS and TPP and suppressed TREH activity. These results show that trehalose accumulation observed during anhydrobiosis induction in desiccating larvae can be attributed to the activation of the trehalose synthetic pathway and to the depression of trehalose hydrolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07811.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3037560PMC
October 2010

Sugar transporter genes of the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens: A facilitated glucose/fructose transporter.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2010 Nov 10;40(11):805-13. Epub 2010 Aug 10.

Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8562, Japan; National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan.

The brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens, attacks rice plants and feeds on their phloem sap, which contains large amounts of sugars. The main sugar component of phloem sap is sucrose, a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose. Sugars appear to be incorporated into the planthopper body by sugar transporters in the midgut. A total of 93 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) for putative sugar transporters were obtained from a BPH EST database, and 18 putative sugar transporter genes (Nlst1-18) were identified. The most abundantly expressed of these genes was Nlst1. This gene has previously been identified in the BPH as the glucose transporter gene NlHT1, which belongs to the major facilitator superfamily. Nlst1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 16, and 18 were highly expressed in the midgut, and Nlst2, 7, 8, 10, 15, 17, and 18 were highly expressed during the embryonic stages. Functional analyses were performed using Xenopus oocytes expressing NlST1 or 6. This showed that NlST6 is a facilitative glucose/fructose transporter that mediates sugar uptake from rice phloem sap in the BPH midgut in a manner similar to NlST1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2010.07.008DOI Listing
November 2010
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