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Abamectin resistance in Drosophila is related to increased expression of P-glycoprotein via the dEGFR and dAkt pathways.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 May 3;

Authors: Luo L, Sun YJ, Wu YJ


Many insects have evolved resistance to abamectin but the mechanisms involved in this resistance have not been well characterized. P-glycoprotein (P-gp), an ATP-dependent drug-efflux pump transmembrane protein, may be involved in abamectin resistance. We investigated the role of P-gp in abamectin (ABM) resistance in Drosophila using an ABM-resistant strain developed in the laboratory. A toxicity assay, Western blotting analysis and a vanadate-sensitive ATPase activity assay all demonstrated the existence of a direct relationship between P-gp expression and ABM resistance in these flies. Our observations indicate that P-gp levels in flies' heads were higher than in their thorax and abdomen, and that both P-gp levels and LC50 values were higher in resistant than in susceptible and P-gp-deficient strains. In addition, P-gp levels in the brain blood barrier (BBB) of resistant flies were higher than in susceptible and P-gp-deficient flies, which is further evidence that a high level of P-gp in the BBB is related to ABM resistance. Furthermore, we found greater expression of Drosophila EGFR (dEGFR) in the resistant strain than in the susceptible strain, and that the level of Drosophila Akt (dAkt) was much higher in resistant than in susceptible flies, whereas that in P-gp-deficient flies was very low. Compared to susceptible flies, P-gp levels in the resistant strain were markedly suppressed by the dEGFR and dAkt inhibitors lapatinib and wortmannin. These results suggest that the increased P-gp in resistant flies was regulated by the dEGFR and dAkt pathways and that increased expression of P-gp is an important component of ABM resistance in insects.

PMID: 23648830 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]