Peptide hormones (e.g. insulin, growth hormone among hundreds) regulate many aspects of the life cycle of all animals. Understanding how these molecules become available for function requires knowledge of the steps of their synthesis. With modern techniques of molecular biology and chemistry, the pathways of hormone synthesis can now be elucidated. Peptide hormone synthesis in insects, a group of animals containing many species of great importance to human health, is unfortunately very poorly understood. It is proposed that knowledge of insect hormone gene expression can lead to environmentally safe means of disrupting the physiological balance of injurious species. The adipokinetic hormone (AKH) family of insect neurohormones is the largest group of related peptides yet described from nature, and likely is represented in all insect types. One of the major goals of this proposed research is to characterize AKH genes and gene products. The research will give new information on physiological regulation in one of the most important groups of animals. Use of genetic engineering to produce proteins of medical importance (e.g. vaccines) is one of the important promises of biotechnology. one of the widely accepted systems for production of useful proteins is an insect baculovirus expression vector system developed here at Texas A&M University. Much needs to be learned of factors affecting the efficiency of foreign gene expression by the baculovirus. Analysis of the efficiency of insect gene (AKH) expression directed by the insect-specific baculovirus may indicate strategies for improved production of proteins valuable to man.
|Bradfield, J Y; Lee, Y H; Keeley, L L (1991) Cytochrome P450 family 4 in a cockroach: molecular cloning and regulation by regulation by hypertrehalosemic hormone. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 88:4558-62|