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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 1997 Aug-Sep;27(8-9):735-43.

The heliothis virescens 170 kDa aminopeptidase functions as "receptor A" by mediating specific Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A delta-endotoxin binding and pore formation.

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Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2603, USA.


The relationship between Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac delta-endotoxin binding and pore formation was investigated using a purified 170 kDa aminopeptidase N (APN) from Heliothis virescens brush border membranes. Aminopeptidases with molecular sizes of 110, 140 and 170 kDa were eluted from a Cry1Ac toxin affinity column using N-acetylgalactosamine. The 140 kDa aminopeptidase has a cross-reacting determinant typical of a cleaved glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor. After mild base treatment to de-acylate the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol linkage and incubation in phosphatidyl inositol phospholipase C, anti-cross-reacting determinant antibody recognized the 170 kDa protein. Kinetic binding characteristics of Cry1A toxins to purified 170 kDa APN were determined using surface plasmon resonance. Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac, but not Cry1C and Cry1E toxins recognized 170 kDa APN. Each Cry1A toxin recognized two binding sites: a high affinity site with KD ranging from 41 to 95 nM and a lower affinity site with KD in the 325 to 623 nM range. N-acetylgalactosamine inhibited Cry1Ac but not Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab binding to 170 kDa APN. When reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles, the 170 kDa APN promoted toxin-induced 86Rb+ release for Cry1A toxins, but not Cry1C toxin. Furthermore Cry1Ac, the Cry protein most toxic to H. virescens larvae, caused 86Rb+ release at lower concentrations, and to a greater extent than Cry1Aa and Cry1Ab toxins. The correlation between toxin-binding specificity and 86Rb+ release strongly suggests that the purified 170 kDa APN is the functional receptor A in the H. virescens midgut epithelial cell brush border membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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