Sequence analysis and molecular characterization of larval midgut cDNA transcripts encoding peptidases from the yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor L.

Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA.
Insect Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 2.98). 09/2007; 16(4):455-68. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2007.00740.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Peptidase sequences were analysed in randomly picked clones from cDNA libraries of the anterior or posterior midgut or whole larvae of the yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus. Of a total of 1528 sequences, 92 encoded potential peptidases, from which 50 full-length cDNA sequences were obtained, including serine and cysteine proteinases and metallopeptidases. Serine proteinase transcripts were predominant in the posterior midgut, whereas transcripts encoding cysteine and metallopeptidases were mainly found in the anterior midgut. Alignments with other proteinases indicated that 40% of the serine proteinase sequences were serine proteinase homologues, and the remaining ones were identified as either trypsin, chymotrypsin or other serine proteinases. Cysteine proteinase sequences included cathepsin B- and L-like proteinases, and metallopeptidase transcripts were similar to carboxypeptidase A. Northern blot analysis of representative sequences demonstrated the differential expression profile of selected transcripts across five developmental stages of Te. molitor. These sequences provide insights into peptidases in coleopteran insects as a basis to study the response of coleopteran larvae to external stimuli and to evaluate regulatory features of the response.

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    ABSTRACT: We compared the whole complement of midgut carboxypeptidases from 10 insects pertaining to five orders based on transcriptomes obtained by deep sequencing and biochemical data. Most of the carboxypeptidases were metallocarboxypeptidases from family M14, with carboxypeptidase A (CPA) predominating over carboxypeptidase B (CPB). They were found in all of the insects studied except for the hemipterans and a bruchid beetle. M14 carboxypeptidases were expressed only in the midgut of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera). The most expressed CPA from this insect (SfCPA) was cloned, sequenced and expressed as a recombinant enzyme. This enzyme was used to generate antibodies used to demonstrate that SfCPA is secreted by an exocytic route. Serine carboxypeptidases from family S10 were found in all of the insects studied here. In S. frugiperda, they are expressed in all tissues besides the midgut, in accordance with their presumed lysosomal role. In the hemipteran Dysdercus peruvianus, S10 carboxypeptidases are expressed only in midgut, suggesting that they are digestive enzymes. This was confirmed by enzyme assays of midgut contents. Furthermore, the substrate specificity of D. peruvianus S10 carboxypeptidases are predicted to be one CPC (preferring hydrophobic residues) and one CPD (preferring basic residues), thus able to hydrolyse the peptides formed by their digestive cathepsin D and cathepsin L, respectively. The role of S10 carboxypeptidases in bruchid beetles are suggested to be the same as in hemipterans.
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    ABSTRACT: Larvae of the tenebrionids Tenebrio molitor and Tribolium castaneum have highly compartmentalized guts, with primarily cysteine peptidases in the acidic anterior midgut that contribute to the early stages of protein digestion. High throughput sequencing was used to quantify and characterize transcripts encoding cysteine peptidases from the C1 papain family in the gut of tenebrionid larvae. For T. castaneum, 25 genes and one questionable pseudogene encoding cysteine peptidases were identified, including 11 cathepsin L or L-like, 11 cathepsin B or B-like, and one each F, K, and O. The majority of transcript expression was from two cathepsin L genes on chromosome 10 (LOC659441 and LOC659502). For cathepsin B, the major expression was from genes on chromosome 3 (LOC663145 and LOC663117). Some transcripts were expressed at lower levels or not at all in the larval gut, including cathepsins F, K, and O. For T. molitor, there were 29 predicted cysteine peptidase genes, including 14 cathepsin L or L-like, 13 cathepsin B or B-like, and one each cathepsin O and F. One cathepsin L and one cathepsin B were also highly expressed, orthologous to those in T. castaneum. Peptidases lacking conservation in active site residues were identified in both insects, and sequence analysis of orthologs indicated that changes in these residues occurred prior to evolutionary divergence. Sequences from both insects have a high degree of variability in the substrate binding regions, consistent with the ability of these enzymes to degrade a variety of cereal seed storage proteins and inhibitors. Predicted cathepsin B peptidases from both insects included some with a shortened occluding loop without active site residues in the middle, apparently lacking exopeptidase activity and unique to tenebrionid insects. Docking of specific substrates with models of T. molitor cysteine peptidases indicated that some insect cathepsins B and L bind substrates with affinities similar to human cathepsin L, while others do not and have presumably different substrate specificity. These studies have refined our model of protein digestion in the larval gut of tenebrionid insects, and suggest genes that may be targeted by inhibitors or RNA interference for the control of cereal pests in storage areas.
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