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J Insect Physiol. 1997 Sep;43(9):855-874.

Dietary regulation of serine proteinases that are resistant to serine proteinase inhibitors.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, U.S.A.


Ingestion of Kunitz soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI) by larval Helicoverpa zea, Agrotis ipsilon, and Trichoplusia ni extended the retention time of food in the digestive tract and increased the level of activity of proteolytic enzymes that were not susceptible to inhibition by STI. The level of enhancement of activity of STI-resistant (STI-R) enzyme(s) was directly influenced by the dosage and timing of exposure to STI. However, not all proteinase inhibitors (PIs) enhanced the level of proteinase inhibitor resistant (PI-R) enzymes, even if those PIs inhibited a significant proportion of enzyme activity. These findings suggest that a complex system may be responsible for the regulation of proteolytic enzymes in the midgut of larval Lepidoptera, and one hypothesis for this regulation is proposed.

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