Glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL) is a crucial enzyme involved in the synthesis of glutathione (GSH). Despite various studies on glutathione transferase, and its essential role in detoxification and resistance to oxidative stress, GSH synthesis has not been described in Bombyx mori (silkworms) to date. Silkworms form part of the lepidopterans that are considered as a model of agricultural pests. This study aimed to understand the GSH synthesis by GCL in silkworms, which may help in developing insecticides to tackle agricultural pests. Based on the amino acid sequence and phylogenetic tree, the B. mori GCL belongs to group 2, and is designated bmGCL. Recombinant bmGCL was overexpressed and purified to ensure homogeneity. Biochemical studies revealed that bmGCL uses ATP and Mg2+ to ligate glutamate and cysteine. High expression levels of bmgcl mRNA and GSH were observed in the silkworm fat body after exposure to insecticides and UV-B irradiation. Moreover, we found an increase in bmgcl mRNA and GSH content during pupation in the silkworm fat body. In this study, we characterized the B. mori GCL and analyzed its biochemical properties. These observations indicate that bmGCL might play an important role in the resistance to oxidative stress in the silkworms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology