New players in the regulation of ecdysone biosynthesis.
ABSTRACT Insect ecdysone steroid hormone regulates major developmental transitions, such as molting and metamorphosis. The production of ecdysone correlates well with the timing of these transitions. Finding out how the ecdysone biosynthesis is regulated is crucial to fully understand these sophisticated developmental switches. Here we summarized recent findings in the regulation of ecdysone biosynthesis from the aspects of cell signaling, key biosynthetic enzymes and substrate cholesterol trafficking.
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ABSTRACT: Animal development fundamentally relies on the precise control, in space and time, of genome expression. Whereas we have a wealth of information about spatial patterning, the mechanisms underlying temporal control remain poorly understood. Here we show that Pri peptides, encoded by small open reading frames, are direct mediators of the steroid hormone ecdysone for the timing of developmental programs in Drosophila. We identify a previously uncharacterized enzyme of ecdysone biosynthesis, GstE14, and find that ecdysone triggers pri expression to define the onset of epidermal trichome development, through post-translational control of the Shavenbaby transcription factor. We show that manipulating pri expression is sufficient to either put on hold or induce premature differentiation of trichomes. Furthermore, we find that ecdysone-dependent regulation of pri is not restricted to epidermis and occurs over various tissues and times. Together, these findings provide a molecular framework to explain how systemic hormonal control coordinates specific programs of differentiation with developmental timing.Nature Cell Biology 11/2014; 16(11):1035-44. · 20.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nuclear hormone receptors have emerged as important regulators of mammalian and Drosophila adult physiology, affecting such seemingly diverse processes as adipogenesis, carbohydrate metabolism, circadian rhythm, stem cell function, and gamete production. Although nuclear hormone receptors Ecdysone Receptor (EcR) and Ultraspiracle (Usp) have multiple known roles in Drosophila development and regulate key processes during oogenesis, the adult function of the majority of nuclear hormone receptors remains largely undescribed. Ecdysone-induced protein 78C (E78), a nuclear hormone receptor closely related to Drosophila E75 and to mammalian Rev-Erb and Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors, was originally identified as an early ecdysone target; however, it has remained unclear whether E78 significantly contributes to adult physiology or reproductive function. To further explore the biological function of E78 in oogenesis, we used available E78 reporters and created a new E78 loss-of-function allele. We found that E78 is expressed throughout the germline during oogenesis, and is important for proper egg production and for the maternal control of early embryogenesis. We showed that E78 is required during development to establish the somatic germline stem cell (GSC) niche, and that E78 function in the germline promotes the survival of developing follicles. Consistent with its initial discovery as an ecdysone-induced target, we also found significant genetic interactions between E78 and components of the ecdysone signaling pathway. Taken together with the previously described roles of EcR, Usp, and E75, our results suggest that nuclear hormone receptors are critical for the broad transcriptional control of a wide variety of cellular processes during oogenesis.Developmental Biology. 01/2015;
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ABSTRACT: The ecdysteroid biosynthetic pathway involves sequential enzymatic hydroxylations by a group of enzymes collectively known as Halloween gene proteins. Complete sequences for three Halloween genes, spook (Vdspo), disembodied (Vddib) and shade (Vdshd), were identified in varroa mites and sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses of predicted amino acid sequences for Halloween orthologues showed that the acarine orthologues were distantly associated with insect and crustacean clades indicating that acarine genes had more ancestral characters. The lack of orthologues or pseudogenes for remaining genes suggests these pathway elements had not evolved in ancestral arthropods. Vdspo transcript levels were highest in gut tissues, while Vddib transcript levels were highest in ovary-lyrate organs. In contrast, Vdshd transcript levels were lower overall but present in both gut and ovary-lyrate organs. All three transcripts were present in eggs removed from gravid female mites. A brood cell invasion assay was developed for acquiring synchronously staged mites. Mites within 4 h of entering a brood cell had transcript levels of all three that were not significantly different from mites on adult bees. These analyses suggest that varroa mites may be capable of modifying 7-dehydro-cholesterol precursor and hydroxylations of other steroid precursors, but whether the mites directly produce ecdysteroid precursors and products remains undetermined.Insect Molecular Biology 01/2015; · 2.98 Impact Factor