To elucidate the relationship between soluble trehalase (Treh1) and integral-membrane trehalase (Treh2) in the Bombyx mori midgut, expression profiles for both proteins and mRNAs were examined during metamorphosis by using Western-blotting and quantitative real-time PCR analyses. Two bands of Treh2 (about 74 kDa) were detected in the midgut of 0-day-old 5th (last) instar larvae. Levels of Treh2 decreased as the developing larvae approached spinning (8 days old). In contrast, towards the onset of the spinning stage, Treh1 (68 kDa) was clearly observed, and levels increased until the middle of the pupal stage. Treh2 mRNA expression relative to Bmrp49 mRNA expression was almost constant, although fluctuations were detected. Treh1 mRNA expression relative to Bmrp49 mRNA increased sharply just after spinning. To further examine the expression mechanism of the Treh1 gene in midgut, actively feeding larvae (4 days old) were starved or ligated between the 4th and 5th segments. Injection of a molting hormone into the larval-isolated abdomen led to activation of Treh1, demonstrating that molting hormone acts on the midgut and activates this gene.
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