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J Invertebr Pathol. 1995 Jan;65(1):35-42.

Interaction of the insecticidal crystal protein CryIA from Bacillus thuringiensis with amino acid transport into brush border membranes from Bombyx mori larval midgut.

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Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biochimica Generali, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.


The activities of three related Bacillus thuringiensis delta-endotoxins, designated CryIA(a), CryIA(b), and CryIA(c), as inhibitors of K(+)-dependent amino acid transport into membrane vesicles prepared from the anterior and posterior portions of Bombyx mori larval midgut were measured. Under experimental conditions similar to those occurring in vivo (membrane potential approximately -100 mV, inside negative; pH 7.2in/8.8out; an inwardly directed K+ gradient) CryIA(a) toxin produced a clear dose-dependent inhibitory effect on leucine uptake by both the anterior and the posterior gut membrane vesicles, giving half-maximal inhibition constants (IC50) of 2.6 +/- 0.3 and 2.1 +/- 0.2 microgram toxin/mg membrane protein, respectively. The other two delta-endotoxins were practically inactive. A dose-dependent inhibition of amino acid transport by CryIA(a) toxin was also observed on the carrier-mediated K(+)-independent component, i.e., the leucine-only form. This result strongly indicates that the activity of the K+/amino acid cotransporter is directly affected after binding of delta-endotoxin to the brush border membrane. When the extravesicular pH was lowered to pH 7.2, the interaction of CryIA(a) toxin with the brush border appeared more complex, as suggested by the Hill coefficient of the dose-response curves higher than 1. In conclusion, our data indicate that (i) CryIA(a) toxin specifically inhibited K+/leucine symport along the length of the midgut; (ii) the interaction between cotransporters and toxin is affected by the pH of the medium; and (iii) the K+/leucine cotransporter or a strictly associated protein may serve as membrane receptor for CryIA(a) delta-endotoxin in the B. mori larval midgut.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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