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FEBS Lett. 1999 Oct 29;460(2):385-90.

The cadherin-like protein is essential to specificity determination and cytotoxic action of the Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal CryIAa toxin.

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Department of Applied Biochemistry, Faculty of Applied Biological Science, Hiroshima University, 1-4-4 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan.


The Bacillus thuringiensis CryIAa toxin binds a cadherin-like protein (BtR175) on the brush-border membranes of the Bombyx mori midgut columnar cells, which are the targets. By introducing the BtR175 gene with a baculovirus, Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 cells expressed BtR175 protein on the cell membrane and became susceptible to the CryIAa toxin. The toxin bound the cadherin repeat adjacent to the membrane and made a pore that passed inorganic ions, causing the cell to swell and burst. This was not observed with a BtR175 variant lacking the toxin-binding site. This in vitro experiment mimicked the specific insecticidal action of the toxin in vivo well.

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