A juvenile hormone-repressible transferrin-like protein from the bean bug, Riptortus clavatus: cDNA sequence analysis and protein identification during diapause and vitellogenesis.
We found several juvenile hormone-responsive cDNAs in the bean bug, Riptortus clavatus, by using mRNA differential display (Hirai et al., 1998). One of them, a juvenile hormone-repressible cDNA, JR-3, was cloned, sequenced, characterized and identified as a transferrin (RcTf). RcTf cDNA encoded 652 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 71,453 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence showed significant homology with the transferin genes of several insects, Manduca sexta (43% identity), Blaberus discoidalis (43%), Aedes aegypti (43%), Drosophila melanogaster (36%), Sarcophaga peregrina (36%) and the human (25%). Antiserum was prepared by using recombinant RcTf protein expressed in Escherichia coli as an antigen. The antiserum reacted specifically with both the recombinant protein and the native protein from the bugs, with sizes of 70 and 75 kDa, respectively. The 75 kDa protein was partially purified from hemolymph of diapausing female bugs and the first ten amino acids were found to be identical to that of RcTf cDNA, indicating that the 75 kDa protein is RcTf. The tissue distribution of RcTf in the bug was examined by Western blot analysis. In diapausing animals, RcTf was detected in the fat body, hemolymph and ovary but not in the gut. In the post-diapause stage, RcTf was also detected in eggs, in addition to the fat body and ovary. These results indicate that RcTf is incorporated into the oocytes during vitellogenesis, and suggest that it may provide iron for the developing embryos.