Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Kutsukake et al., 10.1073/pnas.0402462101 Venomous protease of aphid soldier for colony defense: Kutsukake et al. identified a soldier-specific cysteine protease of the family cathepsin B in a social aphid, Tuberaphis styraci; they found that the cathepsin B protein is a major component of the aphid venom produced by soldiers of T. styraci, and that a soldier-specific expression of the cathepsin B gene was found also in other social aphids of the genus Tuberaphis. The soldier-specific cathepsin B gene showed an accelerated molecular evolution probably caused by the action of positive selection, which had been also known from venomous proteins of other animals.


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