Normally, many granules containing uric acid accumulate in the larval integument of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. These uric acid granules cause the wild-type larval integument to be white or opaque, and the absence of these granules results in a translucent integument. Although about 30 B. mori loci governing larval translucency have been mapped, most have not been molecularly identified yet. Here, based on a structural analysis of a deletion of chromosome 14 that included the oa (aojyuku translucent) locus, we concluded that the BmHPS5 encoding a Bombyx homolog of the HPS5 subunit of biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex-2 is the candidate for the oa locus. Nucleotide sequence analyses of cDNAs and genomic DNAs in three mutant strains, each of which were homozygous for the respective allele of the oa locus (oa, oa2, and oav), revealed that each mutant strain has a frame shift or a premature stop codon (caused by deletion or nonsense mutation, respectively) in the BmHPS5 gene. Our findings indicate that some genes that cause the translucent phenotype in Bombyx, some HPS-associated genes in humans, and some genes that cause mutant eye color phenotypes in Drosophila are homologous and participate in an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that leads to biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Plant Science
- Insect Science