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: 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 06/2015; 24(3). DOI:10.1111/imb.12155 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A transcriptomic assembly originated from hypodermis and Y organ of the crustacean Pontastacus leptodactylus is used here for in silico characterization of oxi-reductase enzymes potentially involved in the metabolism of ecdysteroid molting hormones. RNA samples were extracted from male Y organ and its neighboring hypodermis in all stages of the molt cycle. An equimolar RNA mix from all stages was sequenced using next generation sequencing technologies and de novo assembled, resulting with 74,877 unique contigs. These transcript sequences were annotated by examining their resemblance to all GenBank translated transcripts, determining their Gene Ontology terms and their characterizing domains. Based on the present knowledge of arthropod ecdysteroid metabolism and more generally on steroid metabolism in other taxa, transcripts potentially related to ecdysteroid metabolism were identified and their longest possible conceptual protein sequences were constructed in two stages, correct reading frame was deduced from BLASTX resemblances, followed by elongation of the protein sequence by identifying the correct translation frame of the original transcript. The analyzed genes belonged to several oxi-reductase superfamilies including the Rieske non heme iron oxygenases, cytochrome P450s, short-chained hydroxysteroid oxi-reductases, aldo/keto oxireductases, lamin B receptor/sterol reductases and glucose-methanol-cholin oxi-reductatses. A total of 68 proteins were characterized and the most probable participants in the ecdysteroid metabolism where indicated. The study provides transcript and protein structural information, a starting point for further functional studies, using a variety of gene-specific methods to demonstrate or disprove the roles of these proteins in relation to ecdysteroid metabolism in P. leptodactylus.General and Comparative Endocrinology 09/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.09.003 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Little is known about molecular mechanisms that control the Drosophila circadian clock beyond the transcriptional-translational feedback regulation of clock genes as an intracellular process. In this study, Early gene at 23 (E23) was identified as a novel clock gene that encodes the membrane-bound ABC transporter that is induced by the molting hormone ecdysone. E23 expresses in pacemaker neurons in fly head, and its knockdown flies lengthened circadian period with an increased expression of the clock gene vrille. E23 and vrille responded to both ecdysone and clock signals, whereas E23 protein specifically suppressed the ecdysone response and is necessary for rhythmicity. Thus, E23 forms its own feedback loop in the ecdysone response to control circadian oscillation through ecdysone-mediated vrille expression. The ecdysone signaling pathway with E23 is essential not only in developmental stage but also for the circadian behavior in adult fly.Genes to Cells 11/2011; 16(12):1159-67. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2443.2011.01559.x · 2.86 Impact Factor