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Cloning and expression of the VHDL receptor from fat body of the corn ear worm, Helicoverpa zea

University of Arizona Library
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In Noctuids, storage proteins are taken up into fat body by receptor-mediated endocytosis. These include arylphorin and a second, structurally unrelated very high-density lipoprotein (VHDL). Previously, we have isolated a single storage protein receptor from the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, which binds both VHDL and arylphorin. The receptor protein is a basic, N-terminally blocked, ∼80 kDa protein that is associated with fat body membranes. Microsequencing of proteolytic fragments of the isolated receptor protein revealed internal sequences that were used to clone the complete cDNA of the VHDL receptor by 3′ and 5′ RACE techniques. The receptor protein, when expressed in vitro via a suitable insect expression vector, reacted with antibodies against the native VHDL receptor and bound strongly to its ligand VHDL, thus confirming that the cloned cDNA represents indeed the previously purified VHDL receptor. The receptor protein and a second, similar protein also found associated with the fat body membrane show considerable homology to putative basic juvenile hormone suppressible proteins cloned previously from other Noctuid species. Sequence analysis revealed that the receptor is likely a peripheral membrane protein that may mediate the selective uptake of VHDL.

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