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Inhibition of Helicoverpa armigera gut pro‐proteinase activation in response to synthetic protease inhibitors

Vinod D. Parde, Hari C. Sharma, Manvendra S. Kachole
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2012 v.142 no.2 pp. 104-113
Helicoverpa armigera, X-radiation, coatings, enzyme inhibition, gelatin, herbivores, host plants, insects, larvae, midgut, pH, pests, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, polypeptides, proteinase inhibitors, proteinases
Protease inhibitors play an important role in host plant defence against herbivores. However, insects have the ability to elevate the production of proteinases or resort to production of a diverse array of proteinases to offset the effect of proteinase inhibitors. Therefore, we studied the inhibition of pro‐proteinase(s) activation in the midgut of the polyphagous pest Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in response to protease inhibitors to develop appropriate strategies for the control of this pest. Gelatin coating present on X‐ray film was used as a substrate to detect electrophoretically separated pro‐proteinases and proteinases of H. armigera gut extract on native‐ and sodium dodecyl sulphate‐polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Six activated pro‐proteinase bands were detected in H. armigera gut lumen, which were partially purified and characterized using substrate assays. Activated H. armigera midgut pro‐proteinase(s) showed activity maxima at pH 8 and 10, and exhibited optimal activity at 40 °C. The activation of H. armigera gut pro‐proteinase isoforms was observed in the fraction eluted on benzamidine‐sepharose 4B column. Purification and substrate assay studies revealed that 23–70 kDa polypeptides were likely the trypsin/chymotrypsin‐like pro‐proteinases. Larvae of H. armigera fed on a cocktail of synthetic inhibitors (antipain, aprotinin, leupeptin, and pefabloc) showed maximum activation of pro‐proteinases compared with the larvae fed on individual inhibitors. The implications of these results for developing plants expressing proteinase inhibitors for conferring resistance to H. armigera are discussed.