Proteome analysis reveals the molecular basis of honeybee brain and midgut response to sulfoxaflor

Shi, Tengfei, et al. “Proteome analysis reveals the molecular basis of honeybee brain and midgut response to sulfoxaflor.” Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 186 (2022): 105168.


Sulfoxaflor is a widely used pesticide in agriculture. However, the molecular effects of sublethal sulfoxaflor on honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) remain elusive. Here, the effects of a sublethal dose of sulfoxaflor (0.05 μg/bee) on the brain and midgut proteome response of the honeybee were investigated. Exposure to sublethal sulfoxaflor doses did not cause significant honeybee death, but it induced significant alterations in the brain and midgut proteomes. After sulfoxaflor challenge, 135 and 28 proteins were differentially regulated in the brain and midgut, respectively. The up-regulated proteins were mainly implicated in energy metabolism, neurotransmitter transport and drug metabolism processes, and included in particular enzymes of the citrate cycle and cellular respiration process, such as ATP citrate synthase, malate dehydrogenase, cytochrome b-c1 complex subunits, and NADH dehydrogenase. These findings suggest that honeybees enhance energy metabolism in the midgut and brain to resist sulfoxaflor challenge. Notably, treatment with sulfoxaflor resulted in a 6.8 times increase in expression levels of the major royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1) in the brain, and knockdown of MRJP1 mRNA expression using RNA interference significantly decreased the survival rate, indicating that MRJP1 may play an important role in sulfoxaflor tolerance. Our data reveals that sulfoxaflor influences multiple processes related to both metabolism and the nervous system, and provides novel insights into the molecular basis of the honeybee brain and midgut response to sublethal dose of sulfoxaflor.