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BMC Genomics

, 11:611

First Online: 31 October 2010Received: 15 February 2010Accepted: 31 October 2010


BackgroundApoptosis is regulated in an orderly fashion by a series of genes, and has a crucial role in important physiological processes such as growth development, immunological response and so on. Recently, substantial studies have been undertaken on apoptosis in model animals including humans, fruit flies, and the nematode. However, the lack of genomic data for silkworms limits their usefulness in apoptosis studies, despite the advantages of silkworm as a representative of Lepidoptera and an effective model system. Herein we have identified apoptosis-related genes in the silkworm Bombyx mori and compared them to those from insects, mammals, and nematodes.

ResultsFrom the newly assembled genome databases, a genome-wide analysis of apoptosis-related genes in Bombyx mori was performed using both nucleotide and protein Blast searches. Fifty-two apoptosis-related candidate genes were identified, including five caspase family members, two tumor necrosis factor TNF superfamily members, one Bcl-2 family member, four baculovirus IAP inhibitor of apoptosis repeat BIR domain family members and 1 RHG Reaper, Hid, Grim, and Sickle; Drosophila cell death activators family member. Moreover, we identified a new caspase family member, BmCaspase-New, two splice variants of BmDronc, and Bm3585, a mammalian TNF superfamily member homolog. Twenty-three of these apoptosis-related genes were cloned and sequenced using cDNA templates isolated from BmE-SWU1 cells. Sequence analyses revealed that these genes could have key roles in apoptosis.

ConclusionsBombyx mori possesses potential apoptosis-related genes. We hypothesized that the classic intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways potentially are active in Bombyx mori. These results lay the foundation for further apoptosis-related study in Bombyx mori.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2164-11-611 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Jin-Ye Zhang, Min-Hui Pan contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Jin-Ye Zhang - Min-Hui Pan - Zhi-Ya Sun - Shu-Jing Huang - Zi-Shu Yu - Di Liu - Dan-Hong Zhao - Cheng Lu


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