The cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel gene superfamily of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum

Jones, Andrew K; Sattelle, David B
January 2007
BMC Genomics;2007, Vol. 8, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Members of the cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel (cys-loop LGIC) superfamily mediate chemical neurotransmission and are studied extensively as potential targets of drugs used to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Insect cys-loop LGICs are also of interest as they are targets of highly successful insecticides. The red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, is a major pest of stored agricultural products and is also an important model organism for studying development. Results: As part of the T. castaneum genome sequencing effort, we have characterized the beetle cys-loop LGIC superfamily which is the third insect superfamily to be described after those of Drosophila melanogaster and Apis mellifera, and also the largest consisting of 24 genes. As with Drosophila and Apis, Tribolium possesses ion channels gated by acetylcholine, γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), glutamate and histamine as well as orthologs of the Drosophila pH-sensitive chloride channel subunit (pHCl), CG8916 and CG12344. Similar to Drosophila and Apis, Tribolium cys-loop LGIC diversity is broadened by alternative splicing although the beetle orthologs of RDL and GluCl possess more variants of exon 3. Also, RNA A-to-I editing was observed in two Tribolium nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits, Tcasα6 and Tcasβ1. Editing in Tcasα6 is evolutionarily conserved with D. melanogaster, A. mellifera and Heliothis virescens, whereas Tcasβ1 is edited at a site so far only observed in the beetle. Conclusion: Our findings reveal that in diverse insect species the cys-loop LGIC superfamily has remained compact with only minor changes in gene numbers. However, alternative splicing, RNA editing and the presence of divergent subunits broadens the cys-loop LGIC proteome and generates species-specific receptor isoforms. These findings on Tribolium castaneum enhance our understanding of cys-loop LGIC functional genomics and provide a useful basis for the development of improved insecticides that target an important agricultural pest.


Related Articles

  • Phylogenetic and Functional Characterization of the hAT Transposon Superfamily. Arensburger, Peter; Hice, Robert H.; Zhou, Liqin; Smith, Ryan C.; Tom, Ariane C.; Wright, Jennifer A.; Knapp, Joshua; O'Brochta, David A.; Craig, Nancy L.; Atkinson, Peter W. // Genetics;May2011, Vol. 188 Issue 1, p45 

    Transposons are found in virtually all organisms and play fundamental roles in genome evolution. They can also acquire new functions in the host organism and some have been developed as incisive genetic tools for transformation and mutagenesis. The hAT transposon superfamily contains members...

  • Efficient Transformation of the Beetle Tribolium castaneum Using the Minos Transposable Element: Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Genomic Integration Events. Pavlopoulos, Anastasios; Berghammer, Andreas J.; Averof, Michalis; Klingler, Martin // Genetics;Jun2004, Vol. 167 Issue 2, p737 

    Genetic transformation in insects holds great promise as a tool for genetic manipulation in species of particular scientific, economic, or medical interest. A number of transposable elements have been tested recently as potential vectors for transformation in a range of insects. Minos is one of...

  • Chromosome extraction and revision of linkage group 2 in Tribolium castaneum. Beeman, R.W.; J.J.Stuart // Journal of Heredity;May/Jun96, Vol. 87 Issue 3, p224 

    Applies the technique of chromosome extraction to recover ethylmethanesulfonate-induced recessive mutations in a targeted region of the genome of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Strains and genetic variants; Linkage group determination and mapping of new mutants; Use of balance...

  • The population dynamics of maternal-effect selfish genes. Wade, Michael J.; Beeman, Richard W. // Genetics;Dec94, Vol. 138 Issue 4, p1309 

    Uses population genetic methods to describe the expected population dynamics of the selfish-gene chromosomal factor, maternal-effect dominant embryonic arrest (Medea) of the flour beetle. Medea factors; Rate of spread; Deleterious effects of Medea on fecundity; Possibility of stable interior...

  • Properties and natural occurrence of maternal-effect selfish genes (‘Medea’ factors) in the Red Flour Beetle,Tribolium castaneum. Beeman, Richard W.; Friesen, Kenlee S.; Beeman, Richard W // Heredity;May99, Vol. 82 Issue 5, p529 

    Maternally acting selfish genes, termed ‘Medea’ factors, were found to be widespread in wild populations of Tribolium castaneum collected in Europe, North and South America, Africa and south-east Asia, but were rare or absent in populations from Australia and the Indian...

  • Analysis of maxillopedia Expression Pattern and Larval Cuticular Phenotype in Wild-Type and... Shippy, Teresa D.; Guo, Jianhua // Genetics;Jun2000, Vol. 155 Issue 2, p721 

    Describes available maxillopedia (mxp) alleles for Tribolium castaneum. Death of larvae lacking all mxp function soon after hatching; Strong transformations of maxillary and labial palps to legs; Less severe transformations to leg by hypomorphilic mxp alleles; Characterization of the mxp...

  • Crossover suppressors in Tribolium castaneum. Mocelin, G.; Stuart, J. J. // Journal of Heredity;Jan/Feb96, Vol. 87 Issue 1, p27 

    Reports that red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, has been used to investigate population and quantitative genetics for decades. Induction and selection of chromosomes possibilities of suppress recombination of Tribolium genome; Materials and methods; Results and discussion.

  • Sequence of the Tribolium castaneum Homeotic Complex: The Region Corresponding to the Drosophila melanogaster Antennapedia Complex. Brown, Susan J.; Fellers, John P.; Shippy, Teresa D.; Richardson, Elizabeth A.; Mazwell, Mark; Stuart, Jeffrey J.; Denell, Robin E. // Genetics;Mar2002, Vol. 160 Issue 3, p1067 

    Examines the sequence of Tribolium casteneum homeotic complex. Transcription factors in regulating hox gene encoding; Polymorphism of Tribolium DNA; Comparison of Tribolium and Drosophila genes.

  • Discovery of Defense- and Neuropeptides in Social Ants by Genome-Mining. Gruber, Christian W.; Muttenthaler, Markus // PLoS ONE;Mar2012, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p1 

    Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics