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    Description

    During the embryonic (pharate first instar) diapause of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, a 55 kDa protein is highly up-regulated in the gut. We now identify that protein as hemolin, an immune protein in the immunoglobulin superfamily. We isolated a gypsy moth hemolin cDNA and demonstrated a high degree of similarity with hemolins from three other moth species. Hemolin mRNA levels increased at the time of diapause initiation and remained high throughout the mandatory period of chilling required to terminate diapause in this species, and then dropped in late diapause. This mRNA pattern reflects the pattern of protein synthesis. These results suggest that hemolin is developmentally up-regulated in the gut during diapause. Diapause in this species can be prevented using KK-42, an imidazole derivative known to inhibit ecdysteroid biosynthesis, and gypsy moths treated in this manner failed to elevate hemolin mRNA. Conversely, this diapause appears to be initiated and maintained by the steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone, and the addition of 20-hydroxyecdysone to the culture medium elevated hemolin mRNA in the gut. Our results thus indicate a role for 20-hydroxyecdysone in the elevation of hemolin mRNA during diapause. Presumably, hemolin functions to protect the gypsy moth from microbial infection during its long, overwintering diapause.

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    Citation

    Lee, K.-Y.; Horodyski, F. M.; Valaitis, A. P.; Denlinger, D. L. 2002. Molecular characterization of the insect immune protein hemolin and its high induction during embryonic diapause in the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 32: 1457-1467.

    Keywords

    Diapause, Hemolin, Immune protein, Gypsy moth, 20-Hydroxyecdysone, Midgut, KK-42, Pharate first instar larvae

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