Prominent down-regulation of storage protein genes after bacterial challenge in eri-silkworm, Samia cynthia ricini

Yan Meng, Naoko Omuro, Shunsuke Funaguma, Takaaki Daimon, Shinpei Kawaoka, Susumu Katsuma, Toru Shimada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We constructed two independent cDNA libraries from the fat body of Escherichia coli- or Candida albicans-challenged eri-silkworm Samia cynthia ricini larvae. We performed comparative expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis of the two cDNA libraries and found that two putative storage protein genes, ScSP1 and ScSP2, were markedly repressed by E. coli injection as compared with C. albicans injection. By quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis, we showed that ScSP1 mRNA significantly reduced to 1/32-1/3 in the fat body of the female larvae, and ScSP2 mRNA reduced to 1/7-1/3 and 1/22-1/5 in the females and males, respectively, 12-36 h after E. coli injection as compared with PBS injection. In addition, SDS-PAGE analysis revealed that the accumulation of both the ScSP proteins in the larval hemolymph apparently decreased up to 36 h after E. coli injection. However, the amounts of the two ScSP proteins returned to the same level as those in the larvae injected with PBS by 48 h after injection, showing that the reduction in ScSPs caused by the bacterial challenge was transient. Moreover, potential binding sites for the Drosophila Rel/NF-κB protein Dorsal were found in the 5′ upstream regulatory regions of ScSP1 and ScSP2, suggesting the participation of the Rel/NF-κB proteins in controlling the bacterial suppression of the ScSP genes. These results suggested the hypothesis that S. c. ricini has a genetic program to shut down temporarily dispensable gene expression in order to induce an acute and efficient expression of immune-related genes. These findings may provide new insight into the innate immune system in lepidopteran insects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative EST analysis
  • Insect immunity
  • Microbial injection
  • Storage proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science


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