Purification and characterization of hemolymph juvenile hormone esterase from the cricket, Gryllus assimilis

Anthony J. Zera, Travis Sanger, Jeremiah Hanes, Lawrence Harshman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Juvenile hormone esterase (JHE) from the serum of the cricket, Gryllus assimilis, was purified to homogeneity in a four-step procedure involving polyethylene glycol precipitation, hydrophobic interaction FPLC, and ion exchange FPLC. This procedure could be completed in 4 days and resulted in a greater than 900-fold purification with greater than 30% recovery. The purified enzyme exhibited a single band on a silver-stained SOS PAGE gel and had on apparent subunit molecular mass of 52 kDa. The native subunit molecular mass, determined by gel permeation FPLC, was 98 kDa, indicating that JHE from Gryllus assimilis is a dimer of two identical or similar subunits. The turnover number of the purified enzyme (1.41 s-1), KM(JM-III) (84 ± 12 nM) of nearly-purified enzyme, and kcat/KM (1.67 × 107 s-1 M-1) were similar to values reported for other well-established lepidopteran and dipteran JHEs. JHE from Gryllus assimilis was strongly inhibited by the JHE transition-state analogue OTFP (octylthio-1,1,1-trifluoro-2-propanone; I50 = 10-7 M) and by DFP (diisopropyl fluorophosphate; I50 = 10-7 M). The shapes of the inhibition profiles suggest the existence of multiple binding sites for these inhibitors or multiple JHEs that differ in inhibition. Isoelectric focusing separated the purified protein into 4 isoforms with pls ranging from 4.7-4.9. N-terminal amino acid sequences (11-20 amino acids) of the isoforms differed from each other in 1-4 positions, suggesting that the isoforms are products of the some or similar genes. Homogeneously purified JHE hydrolyzed α-napthyl esters, did not exhibit any detectable acetylcholinesterase, acid phosphatase, or aminopeptidase activity, and exhibited only very weak alkaline phosphatase activity. JHE exhibited a low (11 μM) KM for long-chain α-naphthyl esters, indicating that JHE may have physiological roles other than the hydrolysis of JH-III. Purification of JHE represents a key step in our attempts to identify the molecular causes of genetically-based variation in JHE activity in G. assimilis. This represents the first homogeneous purification of JHE from a hemimetabolous insect. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 49:41-55, 2002.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-55
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Esterase
  • JH
  • JH III
  • JHE
  • Juvenile hormone
  • Juvenile hormone esterase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Purification and characterization of hemolymph juvenile hormone esterase from the cricket, Gryllus assimilis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this