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Protein digestion in insects relies on several groups of proteases, among which trypsin plays a prominent role. In the current study, larvae of Pieris brassicae L. were fed radish leaves treated with 1 mM concentrations of three specific inhibitors of trypsin: AEBSF.HCl [4-(2- -aminoethyl)-benzenesulfonyl fluoride, monohydrochloride], TLCK (N-a-tosyl-l-lysine chloromethyl ketone) and SBTI (Soybean Trypsin Inhibitor) to find their potential effects on gene expression of trypsin. Initially, RT-PCR analysis revealed a gene of 748 bp responsible for synthesizing the digestive trypsin in P. brassicae larvae. Also, qRT-PCR data indicated a statistically greater expression of trypsin gene in the larvae fed 1 mM concentrations of AEBSF.HCl, TLCK and SBTI than the control. Results of the current study indicated that synthetic inhibitors can not only negatively affect the gene expression of P. brassicae trypsin, but also the insect can activate a compensatory mechanism against interruption of protein digestion by inducing more expression of the gene and producing more trypsin into the midgut lumen.
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