Identification, characterization and developmental expression of Halloween genes encoding P450 enzymes mediating ecdysone biosynthesis in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta.
ABSTRACT The insect molting hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) plays a central role in regulating gene expression during development and metamorphosis. In many Lepidoptera, the pro-hormone 3-dehydroecdysone (3DE), synthesized from cholesterol in the prothoracic gland, is rapidly converted to ecdysone (E) by a hemolymph reductase, and E is subsequently converted to 20E in various peripheral target tissues. Recently, four Drosophila melanogaster P450 enzymes, encoded by specific Halloween genes, were cloned and functionally characterized as mediating the last hydroxylation steps leading to 20E. We extended this work to the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, an established model for endocrinological and developmental studies. cDNA clones were obtained for three Manduca orthologs of CYP306A1 (phantom; phm, the 25-hydroxylase), CYP302A1 (disembodied; dib, the 22-hydroxylase) and CYP315A1 (shadow; sad, the 2-hydroxylase), expressed predominantly in the prothoracic gland during the fifth (final) larval instar and during pupal-adult development, with fifth instar mRNA levels closely paralleling the hemolymph ecdysteroid titer. The data indicate that transcriptional regulation of phm, dib and sad plays a role in the developmentally varying steroidogenic capacities of the prothoracic glands during the fifth instar. The consistent expression of the Halloween genes confirms the importance of the prothoracic glands in pupal-adult development. These studies establish Manduca as an excellent model for examining the regulation of the Halloween genes.
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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: We map 114 gene gains and 74 gene losses in the P450 gene family across the phylogeny of twelve Drosophila species by examining the congruence of gene trees and species trees. While the number of P450 genes varies from 74-94 in the species examined, we infer that there were at least 77 P450 genes in the ancestral Drosophila genome. One of the most striking observations in the data set is the elevated loss of P450 genes in the Drosophila sechellia lineage. The gain and loss events are not evenly distributed among the P450 genes - with 30 genes showing no gene gains or losses whereas others show as many as 20 copy number changes among the species examined. The P450 gene clades showing the fewest number of gene gain and loss events tend to be those evolving with the most purifying selection acting on the protein sequences, although there are exceptions, such as the rapid rate of amino acid replacement observed in the single copy phantom (Cyp306a1) gene. Within D. melanogaster we observe gene copy number polymorphism in ten P450 genes including multiple cases of inter-paralog chimeras. Non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) has been associated with deleterious mutations in humans, but here we provide a second possible example of an NAHR event in insect P450s being adaptive. Specifically we find that a polymorphic Cyp12a4/Cyp12a5 chimera correlates with resistance to an insecticide. While we observe such inter-paralog exchange in our within-species datasets, we have little evidence of it between species, raising the possibility that such events may occur more frequently than appreciated but are masked by subsequent sequence change.Genome Biology and Evolution 04/2014; 6(5). DOI:10.1093/gbe/evu083 · 4.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Differential growth of the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata still exists in the aquaculture production. There is no systematic study of the entire transcriptome of differential gene expression in P. fucata in the literature. In this study, high-throughput Illumina/HiSeq™ 2000 RNA-Seq was used to examine the differences of gene expression in large (L) and small oysters (S). In total, 74,293 and 76,635 unigenes were generated from L and S oysters, respectively. RT quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis showed the differential expression pattern of 19 out of 34 selected genes was consistent with the results of RNA-Seq analysis: 14 genes (11 for growth, 1 for reproduction and 2 for shell formation) were expressed more highly in S, 5 genes (1 for growth, 1 for reproduction and 3 for the immune system) were expressed more highly in L; 3 genes associated with the immune system were opposite to it; and no difference was found for the remaining 12 genes. Another 9 shell formation-related genes in L and S were examined by qPCR: 1 gene was expressed more highly in L, 5 genes were expressed more highly in S and no difference was found for the remaining 3 genes. Some genes related to growth and development, shell formation and reproduction were expressed more highly in S compared to L. This phenomenon could be explained by "catch-up growth". The results of this study will help toward a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of differential growth between P. fucata individuals and provide valuable information for future research.Gene 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2014.01.031 · 2.08 Impact Factor