Glutathione transferase gene family from the housefly Musca domestica

Michael Syvanen, Zong han Zhou, Jian ying Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Three new glutathione transferase (GST) genes from the housefly Musca domestica are described. These genes, identified as MdGST-2, -3, and -4, were from cDNA clones obtained from a cDNA bank in phage λ. The bank was prepared using poly(A)+ RNA from a housefly that is highly resistant to organophosphate insecticides because of enhanced expression of multiple members of the glutathione transferase gene family. The DNA sequence of each is reported and has a complete open reading frame that specified an amino acid sequence similar to other dipteran glutathione transferases. Based on phylogenetic analysis, we can conclude that the insect glutathione transferase gene family falls into two groups, each of which evolves at a different rate, presumably due to differences in functional constraints. We show that MdGST-1 (and their homologues from Drosophila and Lucilia) evolve at a significantly slower rate than the other members of the gene family. Each housefly GST cDNA was inserted into a bacterial plasmid expression system and a glutathione transferase activity was expressed in Escherichia coli. The transcription pattern of each of these glutathione transferases was examined in a variety of different housefly strains that are known to differ in their resistance to organophosphate insecticides due to different patterns of glutathione transferase expression. We found that the level of transcription for two of our clones was positively correlated with the level of organophosphate resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


  • Evolutionary rate
  • Glutathione transferase
  • Insecticide resistance
  • Multigene family
  • Musca domestica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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