Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 865065, 14 pages
Research Article

Identification and Expression Profiling of the BTB Domain-Containing Protein Gene Family in the Silkworm, Bombyx mori

State Key Laboratory of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, No. 2 Tiansheng Street, Beibei District, Chongqing 400715, China

Received 24 January 2014; Revised 5 April 2014; Accepted 7 April 2014; Published 6 May 2014

Academic Editor: Margarita Hadzopoulou-Cladaras

Copyright © 2014 Daojun Cheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The BTB domain is a conserved protein-protein interaction motif. In this study, we identified 56 BTB domain-containing protein genes in the silkworm, in addition to 46 in the honey bee, 55 in the red flour beetle, and 53 in the monarch butterfly. Silkworm BTB protein genes were classified into nine subfamilies according to their domain architecture, and most of them could be mapped on the different chromosomes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that silkworm BTB protein genes may have undergone a duplication event in three subfamilies: BTB-BACK-Kelch, BTB-BACK-PHR, and BTB-FLYWCH. Comparative analysis demonstrated that the orthologs of each of 13 BTB protein genes present a rigorous orthologous relationship in the silkworm and other surveyed insects, indicating conserved functions of these genes during insect evolution. Furthermore, several silkworm BTB protein genes exhibited sex-specific expression in larval tissues or at different stages during metamorphosis. These findings not only contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of insect BTB protein gene families but also provide a basis for further investigation of the functions of BTB protein genes in the silkworm.