, 2009). Cry2Ab mutants; V307I, N309S, F311I, A314T, N318I and A334S, yielded toxin size bands within only 2 min of
chymotrypsin digestion (Fig. 3). Neither Cry2AbWT nor any mutants were toxic to either Cx. pipiens or Ae. aegypti up to 6000 ng mL−1 http://www.selleckchem.com/products/r428.html (Table 2). In contrast, Cry2AbWT showed toxicity (LC50 of 540 ng mL−1) to Anopheles (Table 2). Cry2Aa, a known mosquitocidal protein (Liang & Dean, 1994), was used as a control. Cry2Ab mutants V307I, N309S and A314T demonstrated LC50 values similar to that of the wild type. Mutant protein N318I demonstrated approximately threefold decrease in toxicity, still showing slight mosquitocidal activity. Mutant proteins F311I and A334S displayed approximately three- and sevenfold increase selleck chemicals in toxicity to Anopheles, respectively, as compared to wild type. Cry2Ab mutant proteins, V324G and L336N, displayed a marked decrease in toxicity. Single-residue changes at position 324 or 336 of Cry2AbWT resulted in a marked decrease in toxicity to Anopheles by at least c. 65-fold. The
CD spectra for Cry2AbWT and L336N mutant exhibited similar secondary structure (Fig. 4). Mosquito bioassays with Cry proteins are complicated by several factors. Because mosquitoes are filter feeders, the toxins must be applied as crystals, not as soluble proteins. This makes quantification difficult. To address this, we used the densitometry method described in the ‘Materials and methods’. Secondly, the age of the larvae is critical, both because sensitivity decreases with larval age and instars and because very young larvae are particularly cannibalistic. Further, late-instar larvae (late fourth instar) do not eat 24 h prior to pupation. Finally, the volume to larval number has a critical effect on larval stress and sensitivity to toxin. For these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO/CDS/WHOPES/GCDPP/2005.13) has recommended a 24-h bioassay period and a volume to larval ratio of 4 : 1 with third instar CYTH4 larvae. We have used the time period and instar number recommended
and, for convenience, a volume to larvae ratio of 2 : 1. When interpreting the mortality values given in the literature (Table 2), differences in time of bioassay and instar of larvae must be considered. Although Aedes has shown susceptibility to Cry2Aa, single-residue exchanges were unable to confer Cry2Ab specificity to Aedes (Widner & Whiteley, 1990). Cry2Ab mutants N309S, V307I and A314T did not significantly alter wild-type toxicity to Anopheles. N318I demonstrated approximately threefold decrease in mosquitocidal activity, possibly revealing the importance of the amide group, when Asn was exchanged for Ile, an aliphatic amino acid of similar size. F311I and A334S both exhibited an increase in toxicity to Anopheles.