Cloning and Characterization of Phospholipases A2 and Hyaluronidase Genes from the Venom of the Honeybee Apis mellifera carnica (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Junfang Lin


Bee venom contains the allergic enzymes phospholipases A2 (PLA2) and hyaluronidase. These enzymes have been extensively studied as therapeutic modalities because of their proven effects in pharmaceutical and clinical applications. The cDNA cloning of PLA2 and hyaluronidase was amplified by RT-PCR from the total RNA of the venom gland of a honeybee (Apis mellifera carnica). The lengths of the PLA2 and hyaluronidase of Apis mellifera ligustica were 504 and 1146bp, respectively. The genes of PLA2 and hyaluronidase shared 90.94% and 96.65% homologies with A. mellifera ligustica and Apis cerana cerana, respectively. Some similar PLA2 and hyaluronidase were also found in the venom of other bee species, We analyzed their sequences and compared them with those of other sources. A notable finding was that the two genes differed from those of A. mellifera ligustica and A. cerana cerana. The positions of the disulfide bonds of PLA2 and hyaluronidase were also completely different from those previously reported. We used the available sequences to construct a phylogenetic tree and discovered that these two genes of A. mellifera carnica belonged to the western honeybee, and was more closely related to that of A. mellifera ligustica than to any other insect.


Phospholipase A2; Hyaluronidase; Honeybee venom; cDNA clone; sequence analysis; Apis mellifera carnica

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