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Fat body expressed yolk protein genes in Hyphantria cunea are related to the YP4 follicular epithelium yolk protein subunit gene of pyralid moths

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cDNA clones for two of the yolk proteins, YP1 and YP2, produced by the fat body of the moth, Hyphantria cunea, were sequenced and found to be homologous to the follicular epithelium yolk proteins of pyralid moths. Both cDNA clones coded for polypeptides of 290 residues and the deduced amino acid sequence identity between YP1 and YP2 was very high (79.0%). Analysis of the secondary structure of the predicted polypeptides suggests that YP1 and YP2 do not form heteromeric proteins because of differences in secondary structure due to the lack of alpha helices in YP1. Northern blot analysis showed that the transcripts for YP1 (1.2 kb) and YP2 (1.1 kb) were present primarily in the female fat body with only trace levels detectable in the ovary of the adult female. In a developmental study, the YP1 and YP2 transcripts were first detectable in 10-day-old pupae and increased into the adult stage. These results suggest that the YP1 and YP2 genes in H. cunea have been recruited to replace the vitellogenin gene as the primary source of yolk proteins. During this process they have acquired a modified pattern of expression that is different from homologous genes reported in pyralid moths. The assessment of the evolution of proteinaceous yolk in these moths should serve as an excellent model for the evolution of gene recruitment.
Cheon, H.M. , Kim, H.J. , Yun, C.Y. , Lee, H.J. , Lee, I.H. , Shirk, P.D. , Seo, S.J.
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Insect molecular biology 2003 Aug., v. 12, no. 4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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