Evaluation of inhibitor of apoptosis genes as targets for RNAi-mediated control of insect pests

June Sun Yoon, Jinmo Koo, Smitha George, Subba R. Palli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Apoptosis has been widely studied from mammals to insects. Inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) protein is a negative regulator of apoptosis. Recent studies suggest that iap genes could be excellent targets for RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated control of insect pests. However, not much is known about iap genes in one of the well-known insect model species, Tribolium castaneum. The orthologues of five iap genes were identified in T. castaneum by searching its genome at NCBI (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/) and UniProt (https://www.uniprot.org/) databases using Drosophila melanogaster and Aedes aegypti IAP protein sequences as queries. RNAi assays were performed in T. castaneum cell line (TcA) and larvae. The knockdown of iap1 gene induced a distinct apoptotic phenotype in TcA cells and induced 91% mortality in T. castaneum larvae. Whereas, knockdown of iap5 resulted in a decrease in cell proliferation in TcA cells and developmental defects in T. castaneum larvae which led to 100% mortality. Knockdown of the other three iap genes identified did not cause a significant effect on cells or insects. These data increase our understanding of iap genes in insects and provide opportunities for developing iap1 and iap5 as targets for RNAi-based insect pest control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21689
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • RNA interference
  • Tribolium castaneum
  • iap
  • red flour beetle
  • survivin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science


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