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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995 Mar 14;1261(1):83-9.

Molecular characterization of the gene encoding the precursor protein of diapause hormone and pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (DH-PBAN) of the silkworm, Bombyx mori and its distribution in some insects.

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Laboratory of Sericultural Science and Entomoresources, School of Agricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan.


The diapause hormone is a 24 amino acid peptide amide which induces embryonic diapause of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Diapause hormone, pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide, and other three neuropeptides of FXPRL amide peptide family have been shown to be generated from a polyprotein precursor which is encoded by a single mRNA. We have cloned the genomic sequence encoding the precursor protein of diapause hormone-pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (DH-PBAN) by using a DH-PBAN cDNA as a probe, and analyzed its structure. The gene comprised six exons interspersed by five introns. The diapause hormone sequence along with a signal sequence was encoded in the first and second exons, and the pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide was in the fourth and fifth exons. The major transcription initiation site of the gene was localized at 25 bp upstream from the translation start site. A single copy of this gene was present in a haploid genome. The 5'-upstream region of the gene contained a sequence similar to the ecdysone responsive element of Drosophila hsp 23 gene, and five decanucleotide motifs, which shared the homeodomain binding core sequence, TAAT. Genomic Southern analysis on DNA from some insect species other than the silkworm showed positive bands which hybridized with DH-PBAN cDNA of the silkworm. Thus, the DH-PBAN-like gene seems to be widely distributed in insects.

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