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The overexpression of acetylcholinesterase compensates for the reduced catalytic activity caused by resistance-conferring mutations in Tetranychus urticae

Kwon, Deok Ho, Choi, Jae Young, Je, Yeon Ho, Lee, Si Hyeock
Insect biochemistry and molecular biology 2012 v.42 no.3 pp. 212-219
Tetranychus urticae, Western blotting, acetylcholinesterase, catalytic activity, enzyme kinetics, gene overexpression, genes, mites, mutation
The mutations (G228S, A391T and F439W) and duplication of the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) gene (Tuace) are involved in monocrotophos resistance in the two-spotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae (Kwon et al., 2010a, b). The overexpression of T. urticae AChE (TuAChE) as a result of Tuace duplication was confirmed in several field-collected populations by Western blotting using an AChE-specific antibody. To investigate the effects of each mutation on the insensitivity and fitness cost of AChE, eight variants of TuAChE were expressed in vitro using the baculovirus expression system. Kinetic analysis revealed that the G228S and F439W mutations confer approximately 26-fold and 99-fold increases in the insensitivity to monocrotophos, respectively, whereas the insensitivity increased over 1165-fold in the AChE with double mutations. Nevertheless, the presence of these mutations reduced the catalytic efficiency of AChE significantly. In particular, the TuAChE having both mutations together exhibited a 17.8∼27.1-fold reduced catalytic efficiency, suggesting an apparent fitness cost in the monocrotophos-resistant mites. The A391T mutation did not change the kinetic properties of either the substrate or inhibitor when present alone but mitigated the negative impacts of the F439 mutation. To simulate the catalytic activity of the overexpressed TuAChE in two T. urticae strains (approximately 6 copies for AD strain vs. 2 copies for PyriF strain), appropriate TuAChE variants were combined to make up the desired AChE copies and mutation frequencies, and their enzyme kinetics were determined. The reconstituted 6-copy and 2-copy TuAChEs exhibited catalytic efficiency levels comparable to those of a single-copy wildtype TuAChE, suggesting that, if mutations are present, multiple copies of AChE are required to restore a normal level of catalytic activity in the monocrotophos-resistant mites. In summary, the present study provides clear evidence that Tuace duplication resulted in the proportional overexpression of AChE, which was necessary to compensate for the reduced catalytic activity of AChE caused by mutations.