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J Insect Physiol. 2004 Apr;50(4):303-13.

Adjustments of the enzymatic complement for polyol biosynthesis and accumulation in diapausing cold-acclimated adults of Pyrrhocoris apterus.

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Institute of Entomology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic.


The capacity to accumulate winter polyols (mainly ribitol and sorbitol) during cold-acclimation in Pyrrhocoris apterus is restricted only to the adults that have previously entered diapause. The enzymatic complement involved in polyol biosynthesis was found to differ in a complex manner between diapause and non-diapause adults. Nearly 100% of glycogen phosphorylase (GPase) was present in its active form in non-diapause adults irrespective of their acclimation status. In contrast, less than 40% of GPase was present in its active form in diapause adults prior to cold-acclimation and the inactive form was rapidly activated upon transition from 5 to 0 degrees C, concomitantly with the start of rapid polyol accumulation. The flow of carbon released by activation of glycogen degradation might be routed to the pentose cycle because the activity of glucose-6-P dehydrogenase (G(6)P-DH) was significantly higher and it increased with cold-acclimation in diapause adults while it was relatively low and it decreased with cold-acclimation in non-diapause adults. Reducing equivalents in the form of NADPH, which were generated in the pentose cycle, might require re-oxidation. Such re-oxidation might be achieved during reduction of sugars to polyols. The activity of NADP(H)-dependent aldose reductase (AR) was about 20-fold higher in diapause than in non-diapause adults. Similarly, the activity of NAD(H)-dependent polyol dehydrogenase (PDH) was higher in diapause adults. In addition, we found a very high activity of an unusual enzyme, NADP(H)-dependent ketose reductase (KR), exclusively in diapause adults. KR might be involved in reduction of fructose to sorbitol. Although its affinity for fructose as a substrate was low (K(M)=0.64M), its activity was about 10-fold higher than that of PDH with fructose. Moreover, the activity of KR significantly increased with cold-acclimation while that of PDH remained unchanged. Different electrophoretic mobilities in PAGE gel suggested that KR and PDH are two different enzymes with specific requirement for NADP(H) or NAD(H), respectively, as co-factors.

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