Molecular characterization of a ryanodine receptor gene in the rice leaffolder, Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée)

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36623. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036623. Epub 2012 May 2.


Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are the targets of two novel classes of synthetic insecticidal chemicals, phthalic acid diamides and anthranilic diamides. Isolation of full-length RyR cDNAs is a critical step towards the structural and functional characterization of insect RyRs and an understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the species selective toxicity of diamide insecticides. However, there has been little research on the insect RyR genes due to the high molecular weight of the RyR proteins. In this study, we isolated a full-length RyR cDNA (named as CmRyR) from Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, an important rice pest throughout Southeast Asia. The composite CmRyR gene contains an ORF of 15264 bp encoding a protein of 5087 amino acid residues, which shares 79% overall identity with its Drosophila melanogaster homologue. All hallmarks of the RyR proteins are conserved in the CmRyR protein, suggesting that CmRyR is a structural and functional analogue of known RyRs. A multiple sequence alignment illustrates that the insect RyRs share high levels of amino acid sequence identity at the the COOH-terminal region. However, the amino acid residues analogous to the CmRyR residues N(4922), N(4924), N(4935), L(4950), L(4981), N(5013) and T(5064) are unique to lepidopteran RyRs compared with non-lepidopteran insect RyRs. This finding suggests that these residues may be involved in the differences in channel properties between lepidopteran and non-lepidopteran insect RyRs and in the species selective toxicity of diamide insecticides. Furthermore, two alternative splicing sites were identified in the CmRyR gene, one of which was located in the central part of the predicted second SPRY domain. Diagnostic PCR showed that the inclusion frequencies of two mutually exclusive exons (a/b) and one optional exon (c) differed between developmental stages or adult anatomical regions. Our results imply that alternative splicing may be a major means of generating functional diversity in C. medinalis RyR channel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Animals
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Lepidoptera / genetics*
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Oryza / parasitology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Insect Proteins
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel