Characterization of the channel-pores formed by Bacillus thuringiensis Cry46Ab toxin in planar lipid bilayers

Akira Sakakibara, So Takebe, Toru Ide, Tohru Hayakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Cry46Ab from Bacillus thuringiensis TK-E6 is a new mosquitocidal toxin with aerolysin-type architecture, and has been shown that co-administration of Cry46Ab with other mosquitocidal Cry toxins results in synergistic toxicity against Culex pipiens Coquillett (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquito larvae. Cry46Ab, therefore, is expected to find use in improving the insecticidal activity of B. thuringiensis-based bioinsecticides. In the present study, the mode of action of Cry46Ab was explored by single-channel measurements of Cry46Ab channel-pores. The single-channel conductances of channel-pores formed in planar lipid bilayers by Cry46Ab were determined to be 31.8 ± 2.7 pS in 150 mM NaCl and 24.2 ± 0.7 pS in 150 mM CaCl2. Ion-selectivity measurements revealed that the channel-pores formed by Cry46Ab were cation selective. The permeability ratio of K+ to Cl was approximately 4, and the preferences for cations were K+ > Na+, K+ > Ca2+, and Ca2+ > Na+. A calcein release assay using liposomes suggested that Cry46Ab influences the integrity of membrane vesicles. Formation of cation-selective channel-pores has been observed with other insecticidal Cry toxins that have structures distinct from those of Cry46Ab; the capability of forming such pores may be a property required of insecticidal toxins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-398
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Entomology and Zoology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Calcein release assay
  • Cry46Ab toxin
  • Planar lipid bilayer
  • Single-channel analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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