Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.102, No.4, 1809-1822, 2018
Identification of tarsal-less peptides from the silkworm Bombyx mori
The polycistronic and non-canonical gene tarsal-less (tal, known as pri) was reported to be required for embryonic and imaginal development in Drosophila; however, there are few reports of the tal gene in the silkworm Bombyx mori. Here, we cloned a tal-like (Bmtal) gene, and a sequence analysis showed that the Bmtal cDNA (1661 bp) contains five small open reading frames (smORFs) (A1, A2, A3, A4, and B) that encode short peptides of 11-12 (A1-A4) amino acid residues containing an LDPTG(E) L(Q)(V) Y motif that is conserved in Drosophila Tal, as well as a 32-amino-acid B peptide. Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that the expression of the Bmtal gene was highest in the trachea, followed by the silk gland and Malpighian tubule, in day 3 fifth-instar larvae. Subcellular localization showed that BmTal localized in the nucleus. By regulating the expression of the full-length Bmtal gene and the functional smORFs of Bmtal, we showed that the expression levels of the Bmovo gene and genes related to the Notch, transforming growth factor-beta, and Hippo signaling pathways changed with changes in BmTal peptide expression. A co-immunoprecipitation assay showed that BmTal interacts with polyubiquitin, which triggered degradation and/or processing of the 14-3-3 protein zeta. A comparative transcriptome analysis showed that 2843 (2045) genes were up( down)-regulated after Bmtal gene expression was up-regulated. The up-(down)-regulated differentially expressed genes were enriched in 326 (278) gene ontology terms (P <= 0.05) and 54 (59) Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways (P <= 0.05), and the results indicated that the BmTal peptides could function as mediators of hormone levels or the activities of multiple pathways, including the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, Hedgehog, mitogenactivated protein kinase, adipocytokine, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone signaling pathways, as well as the innate immune response. These results increase our understanding of the function and mechanism of BmTal at the genomewide level.