The Essential and Enigmatic Role of ABC Transporters in Bt Resistance of Noctuids and Other Insect Pests of Agriculture

David G Heckel
2021 Insects  
In the last ten years, ABC transporters have emerged as unexpected yet significant contributors to pest resistance to insecticidal pore-forming proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Evidence includes the presence of mutations in resistant insects, heterologous expression to probe interactions with the three-domain Cry toxins, and CRISPR/Cas9 knockouts. Yet the mechanisms by which ABC transporters facilitate pore formation remain obscure. The three major classes of Cry toxins used in
more » ... ture have been found to target the three major classes of ABC transporters, which requires a mechanistic explanation. Many other families of bacterial pore-forming toxins exhibit conformational changes in their mode of action, which are not yet described for the Cry toxins. Three-dimensional structures of the relevant ABC transporters, the multimeric pore in the membrane, and other proteins that assist in the process are required to test the hypothesis that the ATP-switch mechanism provides a motive force that drives Cry toxins into the membrane. Knowledge of the mechanism of pore insertion will be required to combat the resistance that is now evolving in field populations of insects, including noctuids.
doi:10.3390/insects12050389 pmid:33924857 fatcat:orwwgsxbj5amlmdcd4qx4chvwu