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Naturwissenschaften. 2013 Feb;100(2):153-63. doi: 10.1007/s00114-012-1006-1. Epub 2012 Dec 29.

Identification and characterization of an Apis cerana cerana Delta class glutathione S-transferase gene (AccGSTD) in response to thermal stress.

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State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, Shandong, 271018, People's Republic of China.


Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are members of a multifunctional enzyme super family that plays a pivotal role in both insecticide resistance and protection against oxidative stress. In this study, we identified a single-copy gene, AccGSTD, as being a Delta class GST in the Chinese honey bee (Apis cerana cerana). A predicted antioxidant response element, CREB, was found in the 1,492-bp 5'-flanking region, suggesting that AccGSTD may be involved in oxidative stress response pathways. Real-time PCR and immunolocalization studies demonstrated that AccGSTD exhibited both developmental- and tissue-specific expression patterns. During development, AccGSTD transcript was increased in adults. The AccGSTD expression level was the highest in the honey bee brain. Thermal stress experiments demonstrated that AccGSTD could be significantly upregulated by temperature changes in a time-dependent manner. It is hypothesized that high expression levels might be due to the increased levels of oxidative stress caused by the temperature challenges. Additionally, functional assays of the recombinant AccGSTD protein revealed that AccGSTD has the capability to protect DNA from oxidative damage. Taken together, these data suggest that AccGSTD may be responsible for antioxidant defense in adult honey bees.

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