Recombinant yellow protein of the takeout family and albino-related takeout protein specifically bind to lutein in the desert locust.


Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University, Bunkyo-cho 3, Hirosaki, Aomori, 036-8561, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Yellow protein of the takeout family (YPT) and albino-related takeout protein (ALTO) are involved in body-color polyphenism in Schistocerca gregaria. YPT has been proposed to bind to β-carotene, whereas the physiological role of ALTO is unclear. Structurally, takeout proteins contain a long continuous tunnel to bind specific ligands. However, the specific ligands of YPT and ALTO have not been fully elucidated. Here, we isolated the full coding cDNAs of these proteins and successfully produced recombinant YPT and ALTO using an Escherichia coli expression system. Absorption spectral analyses of YPT with and without carotenoids revealed that this protein bound to lutein. In contrast, obvious binding of YPT to β-carotene and astaxanthin was not detected. Similar results were obtained for ALTO. The presence of juvenile hormone only weakly affected the protein/carotenoid interactions. These results suggested that YPT and ALTO specifically bound to lutein in a juvenile hormone-independent manner.


Carotenoids,Desert locust,Juvenile hormone,Phenotypic plasticity,Recombinant protein,Takeout family,

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