V-ATPase E mediates Cry2Ab binding and toxicity in Helicoverpa armigera

Yuge Zhao, Pin Li, Xue Yao, Yuepu Li, Yu Tian, Guiying Xie, Zhongyuan Deng, Shuxia Xu, Jizhen Wei, Xianchun Li, Shiheng An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cry2Ab is one of the important alternative Bt proteins that can be used to manage insect pests resistant to Cry1A toxins and to expand the insecticidal spectrum of pyramided Bt crops. Previous studies have showed that vacuolar H+-ATPase subunits A and B (V-ATPase A and B) may be involved in Bt insecticidal activities. The present study investigated the role of V-ATPases subunit E in the toxicity of Cry2Ab in Helicoverpa amigera. RT-PCR analysis revealed that oral exposure of H. amigera larvae to Cry2Ab led to a significant reduction in the expression of H. armigera V-ATPase E (HaV-ATPase E). Ligand blot, homologous and heterologous competition experiments confirmed that HaV-ATPases E physically and specifically bound to activated Cry2Ab toxin. Heterologous expressing of HaV-ATPase E in Sf9 cells made the cell line more susceptible to Cry2Ab, whereas knockdown of the endogenous V-ATPase E in H. zea midgut cells decreased Cry2Ab's cytotoxicity against this cell line. Further in vivo bioassay showed that H. armigera larvae fed a diet overlaid with both Cry2Ab and E. coli-expressed HaV-ATPase E protein suffered significantly higher mortality than those fed Cry2Ab alone. These results support that V-ATPases E is a putative receptor of Cry2Ab and can be used to improve Cry2Ab toxicity and manage Cry2Ab resistance at least in H. armigera.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105744
JournalPesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Binding
  • Cry2Ab
  • Helicoverpa amigera
  • Receptor
  • Toxicity
  • V-ATPase E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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