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Comparison of the Malpighian tubules and fat body transcriptional profiles of Zophobas morio larvae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

Silva, Jaqueline R., Amaral, Danilo T., Viviani, Vadim R.
Comparative biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.29 pp. 95-105
H-transporting ATP synthase, Lampyridae, Malpighian tubules, Zophobas atratus, adenosine triphosphate, biosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, coumaric acids, diet, excretion, eyes, fat body, hemolymph, immunity, insects, ions, larvae, ligases, lipids, luminescence, nitrogen metabolism, osmoregulation, pigments, solutes, surveys, transcription (genetics), transporters, xenobiotics
The Malpighian tubules in insects play an essential role in osmoregulation, through the transport of ions during excretion, whereas the fat body is usually associated with the intermediary metabolism. The tubules also are involved in excretion of organic solutes and xenobiotics. However, with the exception of a preliminary transcriptional survey of the Zophobas morio (Tenebrionidae) larval tubules, there are no detailed transcriptional analysis of this organ in Coleoptera. A luciferase-like enzyme that displays weak luminescence activity in the presence of firefly D-luciferin and ATP was cloned from the tubules of Z. morio larvae. In order to better understand the molecular physiology of Malpighian tubules and fat body in Coleoptera larvae, and to investigate the occurrence and functions of AMP-CoA ligases in these tissues, we performed a comparative transcriptional analysis of these tissues using Z. morio giant-mealworms. As expected, the tubules displayed organic and inorganic transporters, xenobiotic metabolism enzymes, V-ATPases, channels, and pumps. The fat body showed proteins that are synthesized in this tissue and secreted to the hemolymph, as well as enzymes involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. These tissues are also involved in common pathways, such as nitrogen metabolism to degradation/excretion, eye pigments biosynthesis, immunity, and detoxification. The presence of coumarate-CoA ligase-like enzymes in these tissues suggest their involvement in the degradation of coumaric acid derivatives obtained from the diet, or alternatively, in the biosynthesis of compounds structurally related to coumaric acids such as eye pigments. Our results confirm to the physiological versatility of tubules and fat body in larval Coleoptera.