Drug Discov Ther. 2022;16(6):280-285. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2022.01088)

Silkworm arylsulfatase in the midgut content is expressed in the silk gland and fed via smearing on the food from the spinneret

Hamamoto H, Miyashita A, Kamura K, Horie R, Sekimizu K


We found the activity of arylsulfatase in the midgut contents of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. We identified a 60-kDa protein that comigrates with the activity on a column chromatography following ammonium sulfate precipitation. Based on its partial amino acid sequence, we searched for its coding gene using Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) and identified KWMTBOMO05106. Transcriptional data suggest a specific expression of the gene in middle silk glands. The majority (80%) of arylsulfatase activity was found in the silk glands, concurring the specific transcription in the silk gland. Observing the feeding behaviour of the silkworm, we found that silkworms smear a mucus secretes from the spinneret on the food pellet as they feed on. Arylsulfatase activity was also detected in the food pellet bitten by the silkworm as well as in the gut content. Furthermore, arylsulfatase activity was not detected either in the food pellet and in the gut content when silkworms had obstructed the spinneret. These results suggest that arylsulfatase is secreted from the silk glands and may contribute to digestive function.

KEYWORDS: silkworm, enzyme, secretion, arylsulfatase

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