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Identification of a tachykinin-related neuropeptide from the honeybee brain using direct MALDI-TOF MS and its gene expression in worker, queen and drone heads

Authors

  • H. Takeuchi,

    1. Bio-orientated Technology Research Advancement Institution (BRAIN), Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan;
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    • §

      These three authors contributed equally to this work.

  • A. Yasuda,

    1. Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Wakayamadai, Mishima, Osaka, Japan; and
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    • §

      These three authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Y. Yasuda-Kamatani,

    1. Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Wakayamadai, Mishima, Osaka, Japan; and
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    • §

      These three authors contributed equally to this work.

  • T. Kubo,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
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  • T. Nakajima

    Corresponding author
    1. Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Wakayamadai, Mishima, Osaka, Japan; and
      Terumi Nakajima, Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Wakayamadai, Mishima, Osaka, 618–8503, Japan, Tel: +81 75 962 1660, Fax: +81 75 962 2115, e-mail Terumi_Nakajima@suntory.co.jp
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  • The nucleotide sequence reported in this paper has been submitted to the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank Data Bank under the accession number AB073998.

Terumi Nakajima, Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research, Wakayamadai, Mishima, Osaka, 618–8503, Japan, Tel: +81 75 962 1660, Fax: +81 75 962 2115, e-mail Terumi_Nakajima@suntory.co.jp

Abstract

Using a combination of MALDI-TOF and on-line capillary HPLC/Q-Tof mass spectroscopy, we identified and determined the amino acid sequence of a novel neuropeptide in the brain of the honeybee Apis mellifera L., termed AmTRP peptide (Apis mellifera tachykinin-related peptide), related to insect tachykinin. A cDNA for a prepro-protein (prepro-AmTRP) of AmTRP was isolated and determined to encode seven AmTRPs 1–7. Northern blot analysis indicated that the prepro-AmTRP gene is expressed differentially in the nurse bee, forager, queen and drone heads. Strong expression was detected in the queen and forager heads, while weak and almost no significant expression was detected in the nurse and drone heads, respectively. These results suggest that AmTRP peptide functions as a neuromodulator and/or hormone, associated with sex-specific or age/division of labour-selective behaviour and/or physiology of the honeybees.

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