Cathepsin L-like protease can regulate the process of metamorphosis and fat body dissociation inAntheraea pernyi

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Cathepsins are a group of protease, located in lysosome and play a vital role in physiological process. Here, we reported cathepsin L-like protease (Ap-cathL), which contained an open reading frame of 1155 bp and encoding 385 amino acid residues protein. The I29 inhibitor domain and peptidase C1A (clan CA of cysteine proteases, papain family C1 subfamily) putative conserved domains were detected in Ap-cathL. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that Ap-cathL highly expressed in the fat body and midgut. The high expression during the molting stage, pupal stage and following 20E (20-hydroxyecdysone) treatment indicated that it maybe involved in the process of molting and metamorphosis. In addition, depletion of Ap-cathL influenced the expression of apoptosis pathway related genes. The protease inhibitor and RNA interference experiments showed that Ap-cathL was involved in the fat body dissociation of A. pernyi. These results suggest that Ap-cathL may involve in the process of metamorphosis and fat body dissociation of A. pernyi.

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