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Functional characterization of a Niemann–Pick type C2 protein in the parasitoid wasp Microplitis mediator

Zheng, Yao, Wang, Shan‐Ning, Peng, Yong, Lu, Zi‐Yun, Shan, Shuang, Yang, Ye‐Qing, Li, Rui‐Jun, Zhang, Yong‐Jun, Guo, Yu‐Yuan
Insect science 2018 v.25 no.5 pp. 765-777
Camponotus, Microplitis mediator, adults, antennae, arthropods, benzaldehyde, beta-ionone, binding capacity, chemical communication, cotton, disulfide bonds, fluorescence, linalool, linoleic acid, lipid metabolism, lymph, models, odors, oleic acid, palmitic acid, parasitic wasps, proteins, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sensilla, stearic acid, tissues, triacylglycerols, vertebrates, wasps, xylene
Niemann–Pick type C2 (NPC2) is a type of small soluble protein involved in lipid metabolism and triglyceride accumulation in vertebrates and arthropods. Recent studies have determined that NPC2 also participates in chemical communication of arthropods. In this work, two novel NPC2 proteins (MmedNPC2a and MmedNPC2b) in Microplitis mediator were identified. Real‐time quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis revealed that MmedNPC2a was expressed higher in the antennae than in other tissues of adult wasps compared with MmedNPC2b. Subsequent immunolocalization results demonstrated that NPC2a was located in the lymph cavities of sensilla placodea. To further explore the binding characterization of recombinant MmedNPC2a to 54 candidate odor molecules, a fluorescence binding assay was performed. It was found MmedNPC2a could not bind with selected fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and octadecenoic acid. However, seven cotton volatiles, 4‐ethylbenzaldehyde, 3,4‐dimethylbenzaldehyde, β‐ionone, linalool, m‐xylene, benzaldehyde and trans‐2‐hexen‐1‐al showed certain binding abilities with MmedNPC2a. Moreover, the predicted 3D model of MmedNPC2a was composed of seven β‐sheets and three pairs of disulfide bridges. In this model, the key binding residues for oleic acid in CjapNPC2 of Camponotus japonicus, Lue68, Lys69, Lys70, Phe97, Thr103 and Phe127, are replaced with Phe85, Ser86, His87, Leu113, Tyr119 and Ile143 in MmedNPC2a, respectively. We proposed that MmedNPC2a in M. mediator may play roles in perception of plant volatiles.