Transgenic Overexpression of Glutathione Transferase E7 in Drosophila Attenuates Toxicity of Organic Isothiocyanates Affecting Survival and Oviposition
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Organic isothiocyanates (ITCs) are allelochemicals produced by plants in order to combat insects and other herbivores. The compounds are toxic electrophiles that can be inactivated and conjugated with intracellular glutathione in reactions catalyzed by glutathione transferases (GSTs). The Drosophila melanogaster GSTE7 was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli and purified for functional studies. The enzyme showed high catalytic activity with various isothiocyanates including phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) and allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), which in millimolar dietary concentrations conferred toxicity to adult D. melanogaster leading to death or a shortened life-span of the flies. In situ hybridization revealed a maternal contribution of GSTE7 transcripts to embryos, and strongest zygotic expression in the digestive tract. Transgenesis involving the GSTE7 gene controlled by an actin promoter produced viable flies expressing the GSTE7 transcript ubiquitously. Transgenic females show a significant extension in life-span when subjected to the same PEITC treatment as the wild-type flies. By contrast, transgenic male flies showed no significant effect in the first few days, and subsequently showed a somewhat lower survival rate. At 1 mM AITC concentration, no toxicity was noted. However, the oviposition activity was dramatically enhanced from a very low level in wild-type flies reared in the presence of 1 mM AITC to values an order of magnitude higher for the transgenic flies. The results demonstrate a clear protective effect of GSTE7 against exposure to ITC allelochemicals which can affect both life-span and fecundity of female flies.
Glutathione transferase, isothiocyanate toxicity, oviposition, GST transgene, insect
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102001DiVA: diva2:706479