REPAT, a new family of proteins induced by bacterial toxins and baculovirus infection in Spodoptera exigua

S. Herrero, M. Ansems, M.M. van Oers, J.M. Vlak, P.L. Bakker, R.A. de Maagd

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Insect larvae spend most of their time eating and the digestive tract is the most crucial barrier for the entrance of many pathogens. In our study, suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to compare Spodoptera exigua midgut gene expression between larvae exposed to the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ca toxin and non-exposed insects. Based on the SSH results, full cDNA sequences coding for four homologous proteins were obtained. Quantitative and semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed the increased expression of the genes coding for these proteins after exposure to different B. thuringiensis toxins as well as after infection with baculovirus. The proteins were named REPAT after their increased expression in Response to Pathogen. REPAT1, a member of this family, was recombinantly expressed using the baculovirus expression system, revealing the glycosylated nature of the protein. Recombinant baculoviruses expressing REPAT1 were used to infect larvae from S. exigua, showing that expression of REPAT1 was reducing the virulence of baculovirus to the infected larvae. Together, these results suggest a role for REPAT1 in mitigating pathological effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1118
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • nuclear polyhedrosis-virus
  • cultured midgut cells
  • delta-endotoxin cry1c
  • bacillus-thuringiensis
  • autographa-californica
  • heliothis-virescens
  • insect cells
  • domain-iii
  • larvae
  • expression

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