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- Isolation and characterization of the B-type allatostatin gene of Gryllus bimaculatus de Geer (Ensifera, Gryllidae) (2004)
- 1. Cricket B type allatostatins, which belong to a neuropeptide family sharing the conserved W(X)6Wamide structure, exhibited inhibitory functions on the biosynthesis of juvenile hormones (JH) in vitro in the corpora allata (CA) as well as on ecdysteroid biosynthesis in the ovary of adult crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus). To understand the mechanisms of function of the pleiotropic cricket B type allatostatins, it is necessary to characterize their gene (preprohormone) and study the spatial and temporal expression patterns of the gene. 2. By PCR screening of a random primer cDNA library and by RACE (Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends), a 535 bp 3´cDNA sequence of the cricket B type allatostatin gene was yielded. This 3´cDNA fragment encodes a putative translation product of 85 amino acids with potential dibasic endoproteolytic cleavage sites, which may allow processing into six peptides including three copies of Grybi-AS B1 (GWQDLNGGWGa) and single copies of Grybi-AS B2 (GWRDLNGGWGa), Grybi-AS B3 (AWRDLSGGWGa), and Grybi-AS B6 (AWNNLGSAWGa), respectively. Three of these deduced peptides were previously isolated from cricket brain extracts by conventional chromatographic techniques and were designated as Grybi-AS B1, Grybi-AS B2, and Grybi-AS B3. The Grybi-AS B6 neuropeptide represents a novel member of the B type allatostatins. 3. The nucleotide sequences encoding the type B allatostatins are high in GC-content and show strong homology. The highest GC-content was found for Grybi-AS B3 with 83.3%. The similarity of the nucleotide sequences encoding Grybi-AS B2 and Grybi-AS B1 is 93.3%, whereas Grybi-AS B2 and B3 share 90% nucleotide identity. 4. By Southern blot analyses, it was proven that the Grybi-AS type B gene is present as a single copy per haploid genome of G. bimaculatus. 5. By RT in situ PCR technique, it could be demonstrated that the Grybi-AS B gene is expressed in various tissues of 1 day old female adult crickets: In the central nervous system the Grybi-AS B gene expression was detected in the brain. In the protocerebrum, strong positive signals were found in the median neurosecretory cells, and to a lesser extent in lateral neurosecretory cells and in neurons. Gene expression was also found in the neurosecretory cells of the deuterocerebrum and the tritocerebrum. Furthermore, Grybi - AS B gene expression was localized in neurosecretory cells of the suboesophageal ganglion (SOG), the thoracic ganglia, and the abdominal ganglia. In the germarium and in primary oocytes of the ovary, Grybi-AS B gene expression was detected as condensed signals in the nuclei, but not in the prefollicular cells or the cytoplasm. With ongoing development of the oocytes, the signals in the nuclei (germinal vesicles) appeared as separated granules with weaker intensity, which finally disappeared, whereas in the follicular cells strong signals became apparent. Grybi-AS B gene expression was also detected in the epithelial cells of the accessory reproductive glands of female crickets. In the caecum and midgut, Grybi-AS B gene expression was found in endocrine secretory and epithelial cells, whereas in the hindgut, positive RT in situ PCR signals were detected in both longitudinal and circular muscles and in the gut epithelial cells. Grybi-AS B gene expression was also found in cells of the fat body and in thoracic (flight) muscles. 6. The results on Grybi-AS B gene expression as obtained by RT in situ PCR were confirmed by RT-PCR and RNA dot blot analyses. The expression of the Grybi-AS B gene in various tissues of adult females varied in an age-dependent manner. In brains of virgin females gene expression increased from the day of emergence until day 8 of adult life. In the ovary of virgin females gene expression showed a maximum at day 4 after ecdysis, whereas in mated females gene expression was high during the first two days and at days 6 to 7, but low inbetween. In caecum and midgut of virgin females gene expression was low during the first 5 days after ecdysis, but peaked at days 6 and 7, whereas in the hindgut gene expression was highest at day 3 of adult life. In the fat body, gene expression showed highest values on day 1 and days 6 to 7 after ecdysis. 7. Gene expression in brain, testes, and accessory reproductive glands of 0 to 3 days old male crickets was also demonstrated by RT-PCR and RNA dot blot analyses.