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J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2006; 16(11): 1760-1772

Published online November 28, 2006

Mature acetylcholinesterase (AChE) gene (gm, 1,836 bp) was cloned from the housefly and successfully expressed in the E. coli CodonPlus (DE3) RIL system (GM-E, 72 kDa) with a yield of 1,630 mU/g fresh cells. Using the gm, 10 kinds of mutants were constructed and expressed for enhancing sensitivity to insecticides. The sensitivity of these mutants to five kinds of organophosphate (OP) and three carbamate insecticides was investigated by measuring the apparent bimolecular inhibition constant ($k_i=k_2/K_d$). Surprisingly, the sensitivity of quadruple mutant IGFT was enhanced as much as 7-fold for acephate, 164-fold for demeton-S-methyl, 484-fold for dichlorvos, 523-fold for edifenphos, 30-fold for ethoprophos, 30-fold for benfuracarb, 404-fold for carbaryl, and 107-fold for furathiocarb, compared with that of GM-E, although the sensitivity of each single point mutant was slightly increased. These mutational studies indicated that (i) contradictory to Walsh et al. [39], the residue 327 is the important key residue for enhancing sensitivity as much as the residue 262, (ii) the residue 82 and additional residues of 234, 236, and 585 are also important, and (iii) sensitivity was cooperatively accelerated as the number of strategic mutations increased.