International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Jan 2015)

Insecticide-Mediated Up-Regulation of Cytochrome P450 Genes in the Red Flour Beetle (Tribolium castaneum)

  • Xiao Liang,
  • Da Xiao,
  • Yanping He,
  • Jianxiu Yao,
  • Guonian Zhu,
  • Kun Yan Zhu

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 1
pp. 2078 – 2098


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Some cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes are known for their rapid up-regulation in response to insecticide exposures in insects. To date, however, limited information is available with respect to the relationships among the insecticide type, insecticide concentration, exposure duration and the up-regulated CYP genes. In this study, we examined the transcriptional response of eight selected CYP genes, including CYP4G7, CYP4Q4, CYP4BR3, CYP12H1, CYP6BK11, CYP9D4, CYP9Z5 and CYP345A1, to each of four insecticides in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) revealed that CYP4G7 and CYP345A1 can be significantly up-regulated by cypermethrin (1.97- and 2.06-fold, respectively), permethrin (2.00- and 2.03-fold) and lambda-cyhalothrin (1.73- and 1.81-fold), whereas CYP4BR3 and CYP345A1 can be significantly up-regulated by imidacloprid (1.99- and 1.83-fold) when 20-day larvae were exposed to each of these insecticides at the concentration of LC20 for 24 h. Our studies also showed that similar levels of up-regulation can be achieved for CYP4G7, CYP4BR3 and CYP345A1 by cypermethrin, permethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin or imidacloprid with approximately one fourth of LC20 in 6 h. Our study demonstrated that up-regulation of these CYP genes was rapid and only required low concentrations of insecticides, and the up-regulation not only depended on the CYP genes but also the type of insecticides. Our results along with those from previous studies also indicated that there were no specific patterns for predicting the up-regulation of specific CYP gene families based on the insecticide classification.