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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2000 Jul;30(7):559-68.

Inducible P450s of the CYP9 family from larval Manduca sexta midgut.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Forbes 410, PO Box 210036, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


Several related cytochrome P450 cDNAs belonging to the CYP9 family have been cloned from the midgut of larval tobacco hornworms, Manduca sexta. The first P450, CYP9A2, was obtained by RT-PCR using degenerate primers. Northern blot analysis of expression in the midgut using the CYP9A2 probe revealed a significant induction by a variety of chemicals. Diets supplemented with the wild tomato compound 2-undecanone caused a dose-dependent induction which peaked after 48 h. Induction was also observed after addition to the diet of indole-3-carbinol, phenobarbital, 2-tridecanone and xanthotoxin. Neither alpha-pinene, clofibrate nor nicotine were effective inducers. The CYP9A2 probe hybridized to two mRNA species, one of 2. 0 kb and another of 4.2 kb, suggesting cross-hybridization to other P450 mRNAs. Additional P450 clones of the CYP9 family were then obtained and sequenced. Northern hybridization revealed that the 4.2 kb band also hybridized to CYP9A4 whereas the 2.0 kb hybridized to CYP9A5. Despite being 91% identical, CYP9A4 and CYP9A5 were induced differentially by clofibrate and xanthotoxin. Multiple P450 genes from various families are therefore induced in Lepidoptera in response to plant allelochemicals or xenobiotics.

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