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Sequencing of Spodoptera frugiperda midgut trehalases and demonstration of secretion of soluble trehalase by midgut columnar cells


  • First published online 14 October 2009.

Clélia Ferreira, Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, C.P. 26077, 05513-970, São Paulo, Brazil. Fax: +55 11 3091 2186; e-mail:


Both soluble (SfTre1) and membrane-bound (SfTre2) trehalases occur along the midgut of Spodoptera frugiperda larvae. Released SfTre2 was purified as a 67 kDa protein. Its Km (1.6 mM) and thermal stability (half life 10 min at 62 °C) are different from the previously isolated soluble trehalase (Km= 0.47 mM; 100% stable at 62 °C). Two cDNAs coding for S. frugiperda trehalases have been cloned using primers based on consensus sequences of trehalases and having as templates a cDNA library prepared from total polyA-containing RNA extracted from midguts. One cDNA codes for a trehalase that has a predicted transmembrane sequence and was defined as SfTre2. The other, after being cloned and expressed, results in a recombinant trehalase with a Km value and thermal stability like those of native soluble trehalase. This enzyme was defined as SfTre1 and, after it was used to generate antibodies, it was immunolocalized at the secretory vesicles and at the glycocalyx of columnar cells. Escherichia coli trehalase 3D structure and sequence alignment with SfTre1 support a proposal regarding the residue modulating the pKa value of the proton donor.