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Heredity (Edinb). 1996 Nov;77 ( Pt 5):555-61.

Coamplification of esterase A and B genes as a single unit in Culex pipiens mosquitoes.

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Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution (UMR CNRS 5554, Université de Montpellier II (C.C. 065), France.


In Culex pipiens mosquitoes, resistance to organophosphorous insecticides often results from increased detoxification by two types of esterases, A and B, which are closely linked. Overproduction of all esterase B so far investigated (B1, B2, B4, B5 and B6) is from gene amplification. An esterase A gene (esterase A2) has recently been cloned from mosquitoes with the overproduced esterases A2 and B2, and amplification of this gene has also been reported. We describe the cDNA sequences of three additional esterase genes from insecticide-resistant strains of Culex pipiens originating from France and California which show at least 93 per cent homology with the esterase A2 gene sequence. Restriction enzyme mapping shows that the esterase A gene lies within 2.2 kb of the esterase B gene. In mosquitoes with overproduced esterases A2 and B2, the amplification level of esterase A is equal to that of esterase B suggesting that the genes are coamplified. Furthermore, we show that in one strain with an overproduced A esterase (A1), gene amplification cannot account for the increased protein level. This indicates that overproduction of esterases A can be achieved through two different mechanisms: gene amplification and a regulatory mechanism--the nature of which remains to be identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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