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Title: Charged residue screening in helix 4 of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4B toxin reveals one critical residue for larvicidal activity
Authors: Issara Sramala
Somphob Leetacheewa
Chartchai Krittanai
Gerd Katzenmeier
Sakol Panyim
Chanan Angsuthanasombat
Mahidol University
Keywords: Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2001
Citation: Journal of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. Vol.5, No.3 (2001), 219-225
Abstract: The different Cry δ-endotoxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis have been shown to kill susceptible insect larvae by forming a lytic pore in the target midgut epithelial cell membrane. We have previously employed single proline substitutions via PCR-based mutagenesis and demonstrated that helices 4 and 5 in the pore-forming domain of the 130-kDa Cry4B toxin are essential for mosquito-larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti. To further identify critical residues for toxicity, substitutions with alanine of each of the charged amino acids (Arg-143, Lys-156, Arg-158 and Glu-159) and one polar residue (Asn-151) in the transmembrane helix 4 were performed. Similar to the wild-type Cry4B protoxin, all five mutant toxins were over-expressed as cytoplasmic inclusions in Escherichia coli and were structurally stable upon solubilisation and trypsin activation in carbonate buffer, pH 9.0. Interestingly, a complete loss of activity against A. aegypti larvae was observed for the alanine substitution at Arg-158, while replacements at the four other positions did not affect the toxicity. The results reveal a crucial role in toxin function for the positively charged side chain of Arg-158 in helix 4 of the Cry4B toxin.
ISSN: 10258140
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2001-2005

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