February 21, 2012
Entomologists unravel molecular properties of two acetylcholinesterase genes
Kun Yan Zhu and Yoonseong Park, both professors of entomology, and several former graduate students and colleagues published "Genome organization, phylogenies, expression patterns, and three-dimensional protein models of two acetylcholinesterase genes from the red flour beetle" in the online journal, PLoS ONE.
Acetylcholinesterase is an essential enzyme at the synapses of cholinergic neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems in all animals. AChE has also been extensively studied because it serves as the target site for organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, and involves in insecticide resistance known as target-site insensitivity. In this paper, the authors report two Ace genes from T. castaneum. The study of the two genes focuses on the genome organization, three- dimensional protein models, phylogenies, and expression patterns of the two genes at different developmental stages of the insect, in an effort to better understand the functions of the two genes and obtain insights into better strategies for insect pest control.