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Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2009 Feb;70(2):77-89. doi: 10.1002/arch.20273.

Biochemical characterization of rab proteins from Bombyx mori.

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Agrobioscience, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Hyogo, Japan.


The small GTPases known as Rab proteins are key regulators of membrane trafficking. We used RT-PCR to isolate cDNA clones of insect-specific Rab proteins (BRabN1 and BRabN2) showing low homology with known Rab proteins from other animals, from mRNA of Bombyx mori. These 2 Rabs were produced in Escherichia coli and purified. BRabN1 bound [(3)H]-GDP and [(35)S]-GTPgammaS with dissociation constants of 0.087 x 10(-6) M and 1.02 x 10(-6) M, respectively, whereas those of BRabN2 were 0.546 x 10(-6) M and 1.02 x 10(-6) M, respectively. Binding of [(35)S]-GTPgammaS to BRabN1 and N2 was inhibited by GDP and GTP. The GTP-hydrolysis activities of BRabN1 and N2 were 154 and 35.5 mmol/min/mole, respectively, and bound [(35)S]-GTPgammaS was exchanged efficiently with GTP. BRabN1 also showed ATPase activity and exchange of [(35)S]-GTPgammaS with ATP. Monoclonal antibodies against BRabN1 and N2 did not recognize any other Rab proteins, and Western blotting using the anti-BRabN1 antibody revealed a single band in the testis of B. mori. These results suggest that BRabN1 and N2 of B. mori bind GTP, convert from the GTP-bound state to the GDP-bound state by intrinsic GTP hydrolysis activity, and return to the GTP-bound state with the exchange, and that BRabN1 is specifically expressed in testis. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 2008.

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