Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (1): 21-30, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.003

Molecular cloning and characterization of the S6K-p70 gene in Chinese honeybees, Apis cerana cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Yingqi CAI1, Taobo AI1, Xiaoli YU1, Baohua XU2, Xingqi GUO1
1 College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, 271018, P. R. China; e-mails: caiyingq@sdau.edu.cn (Y. Cai), crazywolf119.-@163.com (T. Ai), dos-888@163.com (X. Yu), and xqguo@sdau.edu.cn (X. Guo)
2 College of Animal Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, 271018, P. R. China; e-mail: bhxu@sdau.edu.cn

The ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K) plays a pivotal role in developmental processes and cell survival by participating in protein synthesis relevant signaling pathways. In the present study, an S6K gene (AccS6K-p70) was isolated and characterized from the Chinese honeybee, Apis cerana cerana (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), an important economic insect in the agricultural industry. The cDNA of AccS6K-p70 was 1683 bp in length and predicted to encode a protein of 467 amino acid residues. Sequence and structure analysis showed that there was a conserved catalytic domain in AccS6K-p70, whilst a phosphorylation site was found in the conserved part of the catalytic domain. Development relevant transcription factor binding sites found in the 5'-flanking region of AccS6K-p70 suggest that AccS6K-p70 might be involved in A. c. cerana development. Furthermore, quantitative PCR revealed that the expression levels of AccS6K-p70 were higher in head and thorax than in other tissues. The AccS6K-p70 was highly expressed in both larvae and adults compared with that in pupae, whilst expression of the gene was significantly down-regulated by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) (although initially and slightly increased by it) and pyriproxyfen (a juvenile hormone analogue insecticide) stresses. These results suggest that AccS6K-p70 may play critical roles in developmental processes and cell survival in A. c. cerana, whilst both oxidative stress and pyriproxyfen may impair S6K-p70 mediated developmental processes by down-regulation of AccS6K-p70 expression.

Keywords: Apidae, ribosomal protein S6 kinase, Apis cerana cerana, development, environmental stresses, expression pattern

Received: May 28, 2012; Accepted: July 9, 2012; Published: January 2, 2013

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