Pest management science

Isoforms of the heteropteran Nezara viridula ecdysone receptor: protein characterisation, RH5992 insecticide binding and homology modelling.

PMID 21594962


Certain bisacylhydrazine compounds such as tebufenozide (RH5992) have been shown to act as order-specific insecticides. Their compatibility with predatory Heteroptera, which are used as biological control agents, has also been demonstrated. However, the molecular mode of action of these ecdysone agonists has not been explored in a heteropteran, much less one that is a significant agricultural pest, such as Nezara viridula. Alternatively spliced ligand-binding regions of the N. viridula ecdysone receptor were expressed, purified and characterised by 2D gel analysis, mass spectrometry, homology modelling and competitive binding of a bisacylhydrazine insecticidal compound (RH5992) and various ecdysteroids. Ligand binding by the two splice isoforms was indistinguishable, and relative affinities were found to occur in the order muristerone A > ponasterone A > 20-hydroxyecdysone > inokosterone > RH5992 > α-ecdysone. The predicted difference in amino acid sequence between the ligand-binding domains of the N. viridula ecdysone receptor splice variants was verified by mass spectrometry. Both splice variant isoforms exhibit a greater affinity for the bisacylhydrazine insecticide RH5992 than do the other hemipteran ecdysone receptors characterised to date. Their affinities for a range of ecdysteroids also distinguish them from the ecdysone receptors of other Hemiptera characterised thus far. Homology models of both N. viridula receptor isoforms provide further insight into the bisacylhydrazine- and ecdysteroid-binding properties of these receptors, including their similar affinity for 20-hydroxyecdysone and the postulated pentatomomorphan moulting hormone makisterone A.

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Ponasterone A, ≥65%