Background. Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa insecticidal protein is the most active known B. thuringiensis toxin against the forest insect pest Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth), unfortunately it is also highly toxic against the non-target insect Bombyx mori (silk worm). Results. Surface exposed hydrophobic residues over domains II and III were targeted for site-directed mutagenesis. Substitution of a phenylalanine residue (F328) by alanine reduced binding to the Bombyx mori cadherin by 23-fold, reduced biological activity against B. mori by 4-fold, while retaining activity against Lymantria dispar. Conclusion. The results identify a novel receptor-binding epitope and demonstrate that virtual elimination of binding to cadherin BR-175 does not completely remove toxicity in the case of B. mori. © 2008 You et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
You, T. H., Lee, M. K., Jenkins, J. L., Alzate, O., & Dean, D. H. (2008). Blocking binding of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa to Bombyx mori cadherin receptor results in only a minor reduction of toxicity. BMC Biochemistry, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2091-9-3