BMCP182 is one of the major cuticle proteins identified in the larval cuticle of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. A genomic clone coding for BMCP18 was isolated from a B. mori genomic library, and its structure was analyzed. The BMCP18 gene consists of three exons interspersed by two introns. Bm1 element-like sequences were identified around this gene, suggesting possible involvement of this retroposon in the duplication of B. mori cuticle protein genes during evolution. A structural comparison of the BMCP18 gene and related cuticle protein genes of other lepidopteran species (MSCP14.6 and HCCP12) showed that the 5′ upstream region of the BMCP18, MSCP14.6, and HCCP12 genes has a 12-bp identical sequence matching the recognition sequence for transcription factors COUP-TF and HNF-4. This implies that molecular mechanisms regulating expression of these cuticle protein genes are also conserved, mRNAs coding for Bmsvp, the B. mori homolog of Drosophila Seven-up, which is known as a homolog of vertebrate COUP-TF, and BmHNF-4, a homolog of vertebrate HNF-4, were detected in the larval epidermis. Bmsvp bound to the 12-bp sequence in vitro, suggesting that Bmsvp regulates the BMCP18 gene expression.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Enhancement of Center of Excellence, Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, Science and Technology Agency, Japan.
- Bm1 element
- Bombyx mori
- Cuticle protein
- Gene cloning
- Transcription factor
- Transcription initiation site