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A BTB domain-containing gene is upregulated by immune challenge

Wang, Gang, Liu, Peng-Cheng, Wang, Jin-Xing, Zhao, Xiao-Fan
Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology 2011 v.77 no.2 pp. 58-71
Escherichia coli, Helicoverpa armigera, Western blotting, ecdysterone, fat body, gene expression regulation, genes, granulocytes, hemocytes, innate immunity, insects, messenger RNA, molting, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, signal transduction
20-Hydroxyecdysone (20E) is an important hormone that regulates the development of insects. Although previous evidence revealed that 20E promotes innate immunity in insects, the mechanism involved is still unclear. In this study, the HaBBP gene from Helicoverpa armigera is cloned, which contains BTB (broad-complex, tramtrack, and bric-a-brac), a BACK (BTB and carboxyl-terminus kelch repeats), and PHR (PAM, highwire, and RPM) domains. RT-PCR analysis of HaBBP and western blot analysis of HaBBP show that the mRNA and protein level are higher in the fat body and hemocytes during the molting and metamorphic stages compared with the feeding stage. HaBBP was upregulated by 20E in hemocytes. Knockdown of the 20E receptor EcR-B1 and the heterodimeric partner ultraspiracle protein USP1 in an epidermal cell line (HaEpi) blocked the transcription of HaBBP. HaBBP is distributed in granulocytes and plasmatocytes. Immune stimulation by Escherichia coli caused the upregulation of HaBBP in both hemocytes and fat body. Thus, HaBBP is regulated by the 20E signaling pathway, and is likely involved in the insect innate immunity.