Molecular heterogeneity of TIME-EA4, a timer protein in silkworm diapause eggs

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Jul;73(7):1578-85. doi: 10.1271/bbb.90066. Epub 2009 Jul 7.


TIME-EA4 is an ATPase that measures time intervals as a diapause-duration clock found in diapause eggs of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. In the current studies, we report the molecular heterogeneity of TIME-EA4 protein regarding not only amino acid L62V, but also the numbers and linkage patterns of the sugar chain attached to the Asn(22) residue. These sugar chain structures were determined in a pico-molar amount of the protein by combining the methods of chemical modification (Smith degradation) and nano-HPLC-electrospray ionization-quadrupole-time of fight-mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF-MS) and -MS/MS. The Japanese and bi-voltine Thai silkworm strains were compared to show the heterogeneity represented by four kinds of molecular species. Judicious choice of the combination methods led us to find the first example of a linkage-position difference in the glycosidic bonds even in sugar moieties of the same molecular weight; thus, the Man(1-6)Man(1-4)GlcNAc(1-4)GlcNAc structure in the C108 pure strain and Man(1-3)Man(1-4)GlcNAc(1-4)GlcNAc structure in the Kinshu-Showa hybrid. A total of five kinds of molecular heterogeneity was determined, including the amino acids in TIME-EA4 protein. This paper describes the details for determining the sugar chain linkage in TIME-EA4 from the diapause eggs of various silkworm strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / chemistry*
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / classification
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bombyx / enzymology*
  • Bombyx / physiology
  • Copulation
  • Female
  • Male
  • Oligosaccharides / analysis
  • Ovum / enzymology*
  • Ovum / physiology
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Oligosaccharides
  • Peptides
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases