Cuticular protein genes are good models to study the molecular mechanisms of signaling by ecdysteroids, which regulate molting and metamorphosis in insects. The present research demonstrates on hormonal regulation and analysis of the regulatory sequences and transcription factors important for Bombyx mori cuticular protein glycine-rich13 (CPG13) gene expression. Expression of CPG13 was strong at prepupal stage in wing tissues of B. mori. CPG13 expression was induced by the addition of 20E, which was inhibited by cycloheximide in the wing disc. The upstream region of the CPG13 gene was analyzed using a transient reporter assay with a gene gun system and identified two BR-Z2 binding sites to be important cis-acting elements for the transcription activation of the luciferase reporter gene by an ecdysone pulse. Site-directed mutagenesis of these sites, followed by introduction into wing discs, significantly decreased the reporter activity. It was found that the regions carrying the binding sites for the ecdysone-responsive transcription factor BR-Z2 were responsible for the hormonal enhancement of the reporter gene activity in wing discs. Mutation of the BR-Z2 binding sites decreased the reporter activity suggesting that the BR-Z2 isoform can bind to the upstream region of the cuticle protein gene, CPG13 and activates its expression.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1