Isolation and identification of the cDNA encoding the pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide and additional neuropeptides in the oriental tobacco budworm, Helicoverpa assulta (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 1998 Oct;28(10):759-66. doi: 10.1016/s0965-1748(98)00065-4.


The present study is concerned with cloning and characterizing Has-PBAN cDNA which is 756 nucleotides long, isolated from the brain and suboesophageal ganglion complex (Br-Sg) of Helicoverpa assulta adults. The 194-amino acid sequence deduced from this cDNA possessed the proteolytic endocleavage sites to generate multiple peptides. From the processing of the prepro-hormone, it can be predicted that the cDNA has a PBAN domain with 33 amino acids and four additional peptide domains: 24 amino acid-, 7 amino acid-, 18 amino acid- and 8 amino acid-long sequences, with FXPR (or K) L (X = G, T or S) amidated at their C-termini. The amino acid sequence of all five predicted peptides, including the PBAN, are identical to that of Helicoverpa zea (Raina, A.K., Jaffe, H., Kempe, T.G., Keim, P., Blacher, R.W., Fales, H.M., Riley, C.T., Klun, J.A., Ridgway, R.L., Hayes, D.K., 1989. Identification of a neuropeptide hormone that regulates sex pheromone production in female moths. Science 244, 796-798 and Ma, P.W.K., Knipple, D.C., Roelofs, W.L., 1994. Structural organization of the Helicoverpa zea gene encoding the precursor protein for pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide and other neuropeptides. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., U.S.A. 91, 506-510). A single mRNA species corresponding to the size of Has-PBAN cDNA was detected from the Br-Sg of 1-3-day old female and male adults, and their expression was also at a similar level. Pheromone production was induced upon injection of female or male Br-Sg extracts or synthetic PBAN into the haemocoel of decapitated 1-3-day old female adults during the photophase when they are not supposed to produce pheromone. From these results, H. assulta adult females seem to use their own PBAN for regulating sex pheromone biosynthesis. Functions of the four other peptides ending with FXPR (or K) L in the Has-PBAN cDNA and of the male PBAN remain to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Assay
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate
  • Lepidoptera / genetics*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuropeptides / genetics*
  • Neuropeptides / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sex Attractants / genetics*
  • Sex Attractants / pharmacology


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Neuropeptides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sex Attractants

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U96761