Apontic binds the translational repressor Bruno and is implicated in regulation of oskar mRNA translation.
The product of the oskar gene directs posterior patterning in the Drosophila oocyte, where it must be deployed specifically at the posterior pole. Proper expression relies on the coordinated localization and translational control of the oskar mRNA. Translational repression prior to localization of the transcript is mediated, in part, by the Bruno protein, which binds to discrete sites in the 3' untranslated region of the oskar mRNA. To begin to understand how Bruno acts in translational repression, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify Bruno-interacting proteins. One interactor, described here, is the product of the apontic gene. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments lend biochemical support to the idea that Bruno and Apontic proteins physically interact in Drosophila. Genetic experiments using mutants defective in apontic and bruno reveal a functional interaction between these genes. Given this interaction, Apontic is likely to act together with Bruno in translational repression of oskar mRNA. Interestingly, Apontic, like Bruno, is an RNA-binding protein and specifically binds certain regions of the oskar mRNA 3' untranslated region. (+info)
The Drosophila kismet gene is related to chromatin-remodeling factors and is required for both segmentation and segment identity.
The Drosophila kismet gene was identified in a screen for dominant suppressors of Polycomb, a repressor of homeotic genes. Here we show that kismet mutations suppress the Polycomb mutant phenotype by blocking the ectopic transcription of homeotic genes. Loss of zygotic kismet function causes homeotic transformations similar to those associated with loss-of-function mutations in the homeotic genes Sex combs reduced and Abdominal-B. kismet is also required for proper larval body segmentation. Loss of maternal kismet function causes segmentation defects similar to those caused by mutations in the pair-rule gene even-skipped. The kismet gene encodes several large nuclear proteins that are ubiquitously expressed along the anterior-posterior axis. The Kismet proteins contain a domain conserved in the trithorax group protein Brahma and related chromatin-remodeling factors, providing further evidence that alterations in chromatin structure are required to maintain the spatially restricted patterns of homeotic gene transcription. (+info)
Insect evolution: Redesigning the fruitfly.
Homeotic mutations in Drosophila can result in dramatic phenotypes that suggest the possibility for rapid morphological evolution, but dissection of the genetic pathway downstream of Ultrabithorax is beginning to reveal how wing morphology may have evolved by more gradual transformations. (+info)
Why are there so few resistance-associated mutations in insecticide target genes?
The genes encoding the three major targets of conventional insecticides are: Rdl, which encodes a gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit (RDL); para, which encodes a voltage-gated sodium channel (PARA); and Ace, which encodes insect acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Interestingly, despite the complexity of the encoded receptors or enzymes, very few amino acid residues are replaced in different resistant insects: one within RDL, two within PARA and three or more within AChE. Here we examine the possible reasons underlying this extreme conservation by looking at the aspects of receptor and/or enzyme function that may constrain replacements to such a limited number of residues. (+info)
The role of gene splicing, gene amplification and regulation in mosquito insecticide resistance.
The primary routes of insecticide resistance in all insects are alterations in the insecticide target sites or changes in the rate at which the insecticide is detoxified. Three enzyme systems, glutathione S-transferases, esterases and monooxygenases, are involved in the detoxification of the four major insecticide classes. These enzymes act by rapidly metabolizing the insecticide to non-toxic products, or by rapidly binding and very slowly turning over the insecticide (sequestration). In Culex mosquitoes, the most common organophosphate insecticide resistance mechanism is caused by co-amplification of two esterases. The amplified esterases are differentially regulated, with three times more Est beta 2(1) being produced than Est alpha 2(1). Cis-acting regulatory sequences associated with these esterases are under investigation. All the amplified esterases in different Culex species act through sequestration. The rates at which they bind with insecticides are more rapid than those for their non-amplified counterparts in the insecticide-susceptible insects. In contrast, esterase-based organophosphate resistance in Anopheles is invariably based on changes in substrate specificities and increased turnover rates of a small subset of insecticides. The up-regulation of both glutathione S-transferases and monooxygenases in resistant mosquitoes is due to the effects of a single major gene in each case. The products of these major genes up-regulate a broad range of enzymes. The diversity of glutathione S-transferases produced by Anopheles mosquitoes is increased by the splicing of different 5' ends of genes, with a single 3' end, within one class of this enzyme family. The trans-acting regulatory factors responsible for the up-regulation of both the monooxygenase and glutathione S-transferases still need to be identified, but the recent development of molecular tools for positional cloning in Anopheles gambiae now makes this possible. (+info)
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and insecticide resistance in insects.
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases are involved in many cases of resistance of insects to insecticides. Resistance has long been associated with an increase in monooxygenase activities and with an increase in cytochrome P450 content. However, this increase does not always account for all of the resistance. In Drosophila melanogaster, we have shown that the overproduction of cytochrome P450 can be lost by the fly without a corresponding complete loss of resistance. These results prompted the sequencing of a cytochrome P450 candidate for resistance in resistant and susceptible flies. Several mutations leading to amino-acid substitutions have been detected in the P450 gene CYP6A2 of a resistant strain. The location of these mutations in a model of the 3D structure of the CYP6A2 protein suggested that some of them may be important for enzyme activity of this molecule. This has been verified by heterologous expression of wild-type and mutated cDNA in Escherichia coli. When other resistance mechanisms are considered, relatively few genetic mutations are involved in insecticide resistance, and this has led to an optimistic view of the management of resistance. Our observations compel us to survey in more detail the genetic diversity of cytochrome P450 genes and alleles involved in resistance. (+info)
An overview of the evolution of overproduced esterases in the mosquito Culex pipiens.
Insecticide resistance genes have developed in a wide variety of insects in response to heavy chemical application. Few of these examples of adaptation in response to rapid environmental change have been studied both at the population level and at the gene level. One of these is the evolution of the overproduced esterases that are involved in resistance to organophosphate insecticides in the mosquito Culex pipiens. At the gene level, two genetic mechanisms are involved in esterase overproduction, namely gene amplification and gene regulation. At the population level, the co-occurrence of the same amplified allele in distinct geographic areas is best explained by the importance of passive transportation at the worldwide scale. The long-term monitoring of a population of mosquitoes in southern France has enabled a detailed study to be made of the evolution of resistance genes on a local scale, and has shown that a resistance gene with a lower cost has replaced a former resistance allele with a higher cost. (+info)
Predicting insecticide resistance: mutagenesis, selection and response.
Strategies to manage resistance to a particular insecticide have usually been devised after resistance has evolved. If it were possible to predict likely resistance mechanisms to novel insecticides before they evolved in the field, it might be feasible to have programmes that manage susceptibility. With this approach in mind, single-gene variants of the Australian sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina, resistant to dieldrin, diazinon and malathion, were selected in the laboratory after mutagenesis of susceptible strains. The genetic and molecular bases of resistance in these variants were identical to those that had previously evolved in natural populations. Given this predictive capacity for known resistances, the approach was extended to anticipate possible mechanisms of resistance to cyromazine, an insecticide to which L. cuprina populations remain susceptible after almost 20 years of exposure. Analysis of the laboratory-generated resistant variants provides an explanation for this observation. The variants show low levels of resistance and a selective advantage over susceptibles for only a limited concentration range. These results are discussed in the context of the choice of insecticides for control purposes and of delivery strategies to minimize the evolution of resistance. (+info)