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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 1996 Dec;26(10):1037-46.

Allelic variation of the polyubiquitin gene in the tobacco hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, and its regulation by heat shock and programmed cell death.

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  • 1Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003-5810, USA. sa08023.mdacc.tmc.edu


The intersegmental muscles (ISMs) of the tobacco hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, undergo programmed cell death (PCD) following adult eclosion in response to a decline in the circulating titer of the hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone. The ability of the ISMs to die requires de novo gene expression and a number of cDNAs representing differentially expressed genes have been isolated from condemned cells. One of the genes that is dramatically up-regulated with ISM death is polyubiquitin, which has been shown in many organisms to function as a heat shock protein and as an essential mediator of proteolysis. Northern blot analysis of ISM RNA samples pooled from multiple individuals demonstrated the presence of several polyubiquitin transcripts. In this study, we sought to determine: 1) if these transcripts were the product of multiple genes or multiple alleles, and 2) if all polyubiquitin genes/alleles in the moth are regulated by both heat shock and the endocrine signals that regulate death. Data from Southern blot analysis suggested that the Manduca genome has a single polyubiquitin gene that is represented by multiple alleles. Transcript analysis supported the hypothesis that all polyubiquitin alleles are regulated by both heat shock and the hormonal cues that regulate muscle death. Polyubiquitin transcripts accumulated to much higher levels and had longer half-lives following hormonal induction relative to that seen in response to heat shock. These data suggest that there are multiple polyubiquitin alleles in the laboratory population of Manduca, all of which share common regulatory sequences that drive expression to meet the needs for proteolysis involved in both heat stress and death.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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