Isolation, characterization and expression of a novel vegetative insecticidal protein gene of Bacillus thuringiensis

National Research Center for Plant Biotechnology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110 012, India.
FEMS Microbiology Letters (Impact Factor: 2.72). 03/2005; 243(2):467-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.femsle.2005.01.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Twenty-four serovars of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) were screened by polymerase chain reaction to detect the presence of vegetative insecticidal protein gene (vip)-like sequences by using vip3Aa1-specific primers. vip-like gene sequences were identified in eight serovars. These genes were cloned and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence of the vip3Aa14 gene from Bacillus thuringiensis tolworthi showed considerable differences as compared to those of Vips reported so far. The vip3Aa14 gene from Bt tolwarthi was expressed in Escherichia coli using expression vector pET29a. The expressed Vip3Aa14 protein was found in cytosolic supernatant as well as pellet fraction, but the protein was more abundant in the cytosolic supernatant fraction. Both full-length and truncated (devoid of signal sequence) Vips were highly toxic to the larvae of Spodoptera litura and Plutella xylostella. Truncation of Vip3Aa14 protein at N-terminus did not affect its insecticidal activity.

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Available from: Siva K Panguluri, Dec 18, 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Vip3 proteins have been described to be secreted by Bacillus thuringiensis during the vegetative growth phase and to display a broad insecticidal spectrum against lepidopteran larvae. Vip3Aa protoxin has been reported to be significantly more toxic to Spodoptera frugiperda than to Spodoptera exigua and differences in the midgut processing have been proposed to be responsible. In contrast, we have found that Vip3Ae is essentially equally toxic against these two species. Proteolysis experiments were performed to study the stability of Vip3A proteins to peptidase digestion and to see whether the differences found could explain differences in toxicity against these two Spodoptera species. It was found that activation of the protoxin form and degradation of the 62 kDa band took place at lower concentrations of trypsin when using Vip3Aa than when using Vip3Ae. The opposite effect was observed for chymotrypsin. Vip3Aa and Vip3Ae protoxins were effectively processed by midgut content extracts from the two Spodoptera species and the proteolytic activation did not produce a peptidase resistant core under these in vitro conditions. Digestion experiments performed with S. frugiperda chromatography-purified digestive serine peptidases showed that the degradation of the Vip3A toxins active core is mainly due to the action of cationic chymotrypsin-like peptidase. Although the digestion patterns of Vip3A proteins do not always correlate with toxicity, the peptidase stability of the 62 kDa core is in agreement with intraspecific differences of toxicity of the Vip3Aa protein.
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