Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 11, pp 3473–3479 | Cite as

In vitro expression and functional characterization of NPA motifs in aquaporins of Nosema bombycis

  • Gong Chen
  • Zhilin Zhang
  • Ruisha Shang
  • Jingru Qi
  • Yiling Zhang
  • Shunming Tang
  • Zhongyuan ShenEmail author
Original Paper


Nosema bombycis contains functional aquaporins (NbAQPs), which are key targets for exploring the mechanism of N. bombycis infection; however, the regulation of these NbAQPs remains unknown. The two highly conserved asparagine-proline-alanine sequences (NPA motifs) play important roles in AQP biogenesis. As part of this study, we constructed a series of NbAQP mutants (NbAQP_NPA1, NbAQP_NPA2, and NbAQP_NPA1,2) and expressed them in BmN cells. The results showed that mutations in either NPA motif or in both NPA motifs did not affect NbAQP expression in vitro. After expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes, those injected with wild-type NbAQP rapidly expanded, whereas oocytes injected with NbAQP_NPAs did not significantly change in size. The associated water permeability (pf) of NbAQP_NPAs was significantly reduced five–six times compared to that of wild-type NbAQP. These results indicated that NPA motifs are necessary for the water channel function of AQPs in N. bombycis. The present study shows for the first time that the NbAQP NPA motif has an impact on the water permeability of aquaporin in N. bombycis, thereby providing a platform for further research into the mechanisms underlying the regulation of NbAQP expression.


Nosema bombycis Aquaporin NPA motifs Immunofluorescence Water permeability 



This work was supported by the earmarked fund for the China Agriculture Research System and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31372376).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

436_2018_6044_MOESM1_ESM.docx (303 kb)
Supplementary material 1 1 (DOCX 303 kb)
436_2018_6044_MOESM2_ESM.docx (118 kb)
Supplementary material 2 2 (DOCX 118 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu University of Science and TechnologyZhenjiangChina
  2. 2.Sericultural Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesZhenjiangChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Genetic Improvement of Silkworm and Mulberry of Agricultural MinistryZhenjiangChina

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