Hongliang Zuo, Lu Gao, Zhen Hu, Haiyuan Liu, Guohua Zhong
Journal of Insect Science 13 (49), 1-13, (1 June 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.4901
KEYWORDS: developmental expression, GABA receptor, gene structure, three-dimensional model, tissue distribution
Intensive research on the molecule structures of the gamma-nminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor in agricultural pests has great significance to the mechanism investigation, resistance prevention, and molecular design of novel pesticides. The GABA receptor a2 (SlGABARα2) subunit gene in Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was cloned using the technologies of reverse transcription PCR and rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The gemonic DNA sequence of SlGABARα2 has 5164 bp with 8 exons and 7 introns that were in accordance with the GT-AG splicing formula. The complete mRNA sequence of SlGABARα2 was 1965 bp, with an open reading frame of 1500 bp encoding a protein of 499 amino acids. The GABA receptor is highly conserved among insects. The conserved regions include several N-glycosylation, Oglycosylation, and phosphorylation sites, as well as 4 transmembrane domains. The identities that SlGABARα2 shared with the GABA receptor a2 subunit of Spodoptera exigua, Heliothis virescens, Chilo suppressalis, Plutella xylostella, Bombyx mori ranged from 99.2% to 87.2% at the amino acid level. The comparative 3-dimensional model of SlGABARα2 showed that its tertiary structure was composed of 4 major α-helixes located at the 4 putative transmembrane domains on one side, with some β-sheets and 1 small α-helix on the other side. SlGABARα2 may be attached to the membrane by 4 α-helixes that bind ions in other conserved domains to transport them through the membrane. The results of quantitative real time PCR demonstrated that SlGABARα2 was expressed in all developmental stages of S. litura. The relative expression level of SlGABARα2 was the lowest in eggs and increased with larval growth, while it declined slightly in pupae and reached the peak in adults. The expressions of SlGABARα2 in larvae varied among different tissues; it was extremely high in the brain but was low in the midgut, epicuticle, Malpighian tube, and fat body.