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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of domain II, loop 2 residues of Bacillus thuringiensis CryIAb delta-endotoxin in reversible and irreversible binding to Manduca sexta and Heliothis virescens.

Site-directed mutagenesis was used to examine the role of domain II, loop 2 residues, 368RRPFNIGI375, of Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal protein CryIAb. Alanine substitution of residues 368RRP370, called B4, abolished potency toward Manduca sexta and Heliothis virescens, and the loss of toxicity was correlated directly to substantially reduced binding affinity to brush-border membrane vesicles (BBMV) prepared from the target insect midguts. These results indicated that these positive charges might be essential to orient the toxin to midgut receptor molecule(s). The role of residue Phe371 of CryIAb toxin to M. sexta was investigated by substituting a series of residues at this position. Irreversible binding and toxicity were affected significantly by hydrophilic, aliphatic, and smaller side-chain residues such as Cys, Val, Leu, and Ser but not by Tyr or Trp. A hydrophobic aromatic side-chain residue at position 371 was therefore essential for irreversible binding of CryIAb toxin in M. sexta. The role of residues 370PFNIGI375 of CryIAb toxin on H. virescens was also examined. Mutants D2 (deletion of residues 370-375), G374A (alanine substitution of Gly374), and I375A had reduced toxicity to H. virescens. In contrast to our findings with M. sexta, the reduction in toxicity of these mutants was correlated directly with loss of initial binding to H. virescens BBMV, indicating that these residues perform functionally distinct roles in binding and toxicity to different insects. In ligand blots, CryIAb recognized a major 210-kDa peptide in M. sexta BBMV and a 170-kDa peptide in H. virescens BBMV.[1]


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