Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Which phenoloxidase catalyzes insect cuticle tanning, laccase or tyrosinase?

K. J. Kramer, kramer@gmprc.ksu.edu1, Y. Arakane, arakane@gmprc.ksu.edu1, R. W. Beeman, beeman@gmprc.ksu.edu1, S. Muthukrishnan, smk@ksu.edu2, N. T. Dittmer, ndittmer@ksu.edu2, and M. R. Kanost, kanost@ksu.edu2. (1) USDA-ARS, Grain Marketing and Production Research Center, 1515 College Ave, Manhattan, KS, (2) Kansas State University, Department of Biochemistry, Willard Hall, Manhattan, KS

Tanning or sclerotization is a vital process during insect development in which N-acylcatecholamines are oxidatively conjugated to cross-link proteins and stabilize the exoskeleton. The phenoloxidases laccase and tyrosinase have been proposed to do this, but evidence presented to date proving the precise identity of the enzyme has been inconclusive. To establish the involvement of either or both of these enzymes in cuticle tanning, we performed phenoloxidase RNAi experiments using the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. The results demonstrate that laccase plays the major role. (Supported in part by NSF.)

Species 1: Coleoptera Tenebrionidae Tribolium castaneum (Red flour beetle)
Keywords: RNAi, phenoloxidase

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