Methyl farnesoate synthesis in the lobster mandibular organ: the roles of HMG-CoA reductase and farnesoic acid O-methyltransferase.
ABSTRACT: Eyestalk ablation (ESA) increases crustacean production of methyl farnesoate (MF), a juvenile hormone-like compound, but the biochemical steps involved are not completely understood. We measured the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGR) and farnesoic acid O-methyl transferase (FAOMeT), an early step and the last step in MF synthesis. ESA elevated hemolymph levels of MF in male lobsters. Enzyme activity suggested that increased MF production on day one was due largely to elevated HMGR activity while changes in FAOMeT activity closely paralleled changes in MF levels on day 14. Transcript levels for HMGR and FAOMeT changed little on day one, but both increased substantially on day 14. We treated ESA males with a partially purified mandibular organ-inhibiting hormone (MOIH) and observed a significant decline in MF levels, FAOMeT activity, and FAOMeT-mRNA levels after 5h. However, no effect was observed on HMGR activity or its mRNA indicating that they must be regulated by a separate sinus gland peptide. We confirmed that lobster HMGR was not a phosphoprotein and was not regulated by reversible phosphorylation, an important mechanism for regulating other HMGRs. Nevertheless, molecular modeling indicated that the catalytic mechanisms of lobster and mammalian HMGR were similar.
Project description:In a previous study [Li, Wagner, Friesen and Borst (2003) Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 134, 147-155], we showed that the MO (mandibular organ) of the lobster Homarus americanus has high levels of HMGR (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase) and that most (approx. 75%) of the enzyme activity is soluble. In the present study, we report the biochemical and molecular characteristics of this enzyme. HMGR had two forms in the MO: a more abundant soluble form (66 kDa) and a less abundant membrane-bound form (72 kDa). Two cDNAs for HMGR were isolated from the MO. A 2.6-kb cDNA encoded HMGR1, a 599-amino-acid protein (63 kDa), and a 3.2-kb cDNA encoded HMGR2, a 655-amino-acid protein (69 kDa). These two cDNAs had identical 3'-ends and appeared to be products of a single gene. The deduced amino acid sequences of these two proteins revealed a high degree of similarity to other class I HMGRs. Hydropathy plots indicated that the N-terminus of HMGR1 lacked a transmembrane region and HMGR2 had a single transmembrane segment. Recombinant HMGR1 expressed in Sf9 insect cells was soluble and had kinetic characteristics similar to native HMGR from the MO. Treatment with phosphatase did not affect HMGR activity, consistent with the observation that neither HMGR1 nor HMGR2 has a serine at position 490 or 546, the position of a conserved phosphorylation site found in class I HMGR from higher eukaryotes. Other lobster tissues (i.e. midgut, brain and muscles) had low HMGR activities and mRNA levels. MO with higher HMGR activities had higher HMGR mRNA levels, implying that HMGR is regulated, in part, at the transcription level.
Project description:3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) catalyzes the formation of mevalonate, the committed step in the biosynthesis of sterols and isoprenoids. The activity of HMGR is controlled through synthesis, degradation and phosphorylation to maintain the concentration of mevalonate-derived products. In addition to the physiological regulation of HMGR, the human enzyme has been targeted successfully by drugs in the clinical treatment of high serum cholesterol levels. Three crystal structures of the catalytic portion of human HMGR in complexes with HMG-CoA, with HMG and CoA, and with HMG, CoA and NADP(+), provide a detailed view of the enzyme active site. Catalytic portions of human HMGR form tight tetramers. The crystal structure explains the influence of the enzyme's oligomeric state on the activity and suggests a mechanism for cholesterol sensing. The active site architecture of human HMGR is different from that of bacterial HMGR; this may explain why binding of HMGR inhibitors to bacterial HMGRs has not been reported.
Project description:The key mevalonate pathway enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase (HMGR) uses the cofactor NAD(P)H to reduce HMG-CoA to mevalonate in the production of countless metabolites and natural products. Although inhibition of HMGR by statin drugs is well-understood, several mechanistic details of HMGR catalysis remain unresolved, and the structural basis for the wide range of cofactor specificity for either NADH or NADPH among HMGRs from different organisms is also unknown. Here, we present crystal structures of HMGR from Streptococcus pneumoniae (SpHMGR) alongside kinetic data of the enzyme's cofactor preferences. Our structure of SpHMGR bound with its kinetically preferred NADPH cofactor suggests how NADPH-specific binding and recognition are achieved. In addition, our structure of HMG-CoA-bound SpHMGR reveals large, previously unknown conformational domain movements that may control HMGR substrate binding and enable cofactor exchange without intermediate release during the catalytic cycle. Taken together, this work provides critical new insights into both the HMGR reaction mechanism and the structural basis of cofactor specificity.
Project description:The terpene compounds represent the largest and most diverse class of plant secondary metabolites which are important in plant growth and development. The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR; EC 220.127.116.11) is one of the key enzymes contributed to terpene biosynthesis. To better understand the basic characteristics and evolutionary history of the HMGR gene family in plants, a genome-wide analysis of HMGR genes from 20 representative species was carried out. A total of 56 HMGR genes in the 14 land plant genomes were identified, but no genes were found in all 6 algal genomes. The gene structure and protein architecture of all plant HMGR genes were highly conserved. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the plant HMGRs were derived from one ancestor gene and finally developed into four distinct groups, two in the monocot plants and two in dicot plants. Species-specific gene duplications, caused mainly by segmental duplication, led to the limited expansion of HMGR genes in Zea mays, Gossypium raimondii, Populus trichocarpa and Glycine max after the species diverged. The analysis of Ka/Ks ratios and expression profiles indicated that functional divergence after the gene duplications was restricted. The results suggested that the function and evolution of HMGR gene family were dramatically conserved throughout the plant kingdom.
Project description:The cladoceran crustacean Daphnia pulex produces female offspring by parthenogenesis under favorable conditions, but in response to various unfavorable external stimuli, it produces male offspring (environmental sex determination: ESD). We recently established an innovative system for ESD studies using D. pulex WTN6 strain, in which the sex of the offspring can be controlled simply by changes in the photoperiod: the long-day and short-day conditions can induce female and male offspring, respectively. Taking advantage of this system, we demonstrated that de novo methyl farnesoate (MF) synthesis is necessary for male offspring production. These results indicate the key role of innate MF signaling as a conductor between external environmental stimuli and the endogenous male developmental pathway. Despite these findings, the molecular mechanisms underlying up- and downstream signaling of MF have not yet been well elucidated in D. pulex.To elucidate up- and downstream events of MF signaling during sex determination processes, we compared the transcriptomes of daphnids reared under the long-day (female) condition with short-day (male) and MF-treated (male) conditions. We found that genes involved in ionotropic glutamate receptors, known to mediate the vast majority of excitatory neurotransmitting processes in various organisms, were significantly activated in daphnids by the short-day condition but not by MF treatment. Administration of specific agonists and antagonists, especially for the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor, strongly increased or decreased, respectively, the proportion of male-producing mothers. Moreover, we also identified genes responsible for male production (e.g., protein kinase C pathway-related genes). Such genes were generally shared between the short-day reared and MF-treated daphnids.We identified several candidate genes regulating ESD which strongly suggests that these genes may be essential factors for male offspring production as an upstream regulator of MF signaling in D. pulex. This study provides new insight into the fundamental mechanisms underlying how living organisms alter their phenotypes in response to various external environments.
Project description:The enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR; EC 18.104.22.168) catalyzes the first rate-limiting step in plant isoprenoid biosynthesis. Arabidopsis thaliana contains two genes, HMG1 and HMG2, that encode HMGR. We have cloned these two genes and analyzed their structure and expression. HMG1 and HMG2 consist of four exons and three small introns that interrupt the coding sequence at equivalent positions. The two genes share sequence similarity in the coding regions but not in the 5'- or 3'-flanking regions. HMG1 mRNA is detected in all tissues, whereas the presence of HMG2 mRNA is restricted to young seedlings, roots, and inflorescences. The similarity between the two encoded proteins (HMGR1 and HMGR2) is restricted to the regions corresponding to the membrane and the catalytic domains. Arabidopsis HMGR2 represents a divergent form of the enzyme that has no counterpart among plant HMGRs characterized so far. By using a coupled in vitro transcription-translation assay, we show that both HMGR1 and HMGR2 are cotranslationally inserted into endoplasmic reticulum-derived microsomal membranes. Our results suggest that the endoplasmic reticulum is the only cell compartment for the targeting of HMGR in Arabidopsis and support the hypothesis that in higher plants the formation of mevalonate occurs solely in the cytosol.
Project description:Corpus allatum (CA) ablation results in juvenile hormone (JH) deficiency and pupal lethality in Drosophila. The fly CA produces and releases three sesquiterpenoid hormones: JH III bisepoxide (JHB3), JH III, and methyl farnesoate (MF). In the whole body extracts, MF is the most abundant sesquiterpenoid, followed by JHB3 and JH III. Knockout of JH acid methyl transferase (jhamt) did not result in lethality; it decreased biosynthesis of JHB3, but MF biosynthesis was not affected. RNAi-mediated reduction of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase (hmgcr) expression in the CA decreased biosynthesis and titers of the three sesquiterpenoids, resulting in partial lethality. Reducing hmgcr expression in the CA of the jhamt mutant further decreased MF titer to a very low level, and caused complete lethality. JH III, JHB3, and MF function through Met and Gce, the two JH receptors, and induce expression of Kr-h1, a JH primary-response gene. As well, a portion of MF is converted to JHB3 in the hemolymph or peripheral tissues. Topical application of JHB3, JH III, or MF precluded lethality in JH-deficient animals, but not in the Met gce double mutant. Taken together, these experiments show that MF is produced by the larval CA and released into the hemolymph, from where it exerts its anti-metamorphic effects indirectly after conversion to JHB3, as well as acting as a hormone itself through the two JH receptors, Met and Gce.
Project description:The neuropeptide mandibular organ (MO)-inhibiting hormone (MO-IH), synthesized and secreted from the X-organ-sinus-gland complex of the eyestalk, regulates the biosynthesis of the putative crustacean juvenile hormone, methyl farnesoate (MF). Using radiolabelled acetate as a precursor for isoprenoid biosynthesis, farnesoic acid (FA), farnesol, farnesal, MF and geranyl geraniol were detected in MOs cultured for 24 h. Treatment of MOs with extract of sinus gland inhibited the final step of biosynthesis of MF, catalysed by FA O-methyltransferase. Additionally, treatment of MOs with purified MO-IH exhibited a dose-dependent inhibition of this final step of MF synthesis. The extent of this inhibition was dependent on the ovary stage of the MO-donor animal, being maximal in MOs from animals in the early stages of ovarian development. Assay of FA O-methyltransferase activity, using [3H]FA in the presence of S-adenosyl-l-methionine, demonstrated that the enzyme was located in the cytosolic fraction of MOs and was inhibited by incubation of MOs with MO-IH prior to preparation of subcellular fractions. For cytosolic preparations taken from vitellogenic animals, both Vmax and Km were appreciably lower than for those taken from non-vitellogenic animals. Conversely, eyestalk ablation of early-vitellogenic animals, which removes the source of MO-IH in vivo, resulted in enhancement of the cytosolic FA O-methyltransferase activity. Although both Vmax and Km show an appreciable increase upon eyestalk ablation, the increased enzyme activity is probably reflected by the fact that Vmax/Km (an approximate indication of kcat) has increased 5-fold. The combined evidence demonstrates that MO-IH inhibits FA O-methyltransferase, the enzyme which catalyses the final step of MF biosynthesis in MOs.
Project description:Ecdysone receptor and retinoid X receptor are key regulators in molting. Here, full length ecdysone receptor (PcEcR) and retinoid X receptor (PcRXR) cDNAs from Procambarus clarkii were cloned. Full length cDNA of PcEcR has 2500 bp, encoding 576 amino acid proteins, and full length cDNA of PcRXR has 2593 bp, in which a 15 bp and a 204 bp insert/deletion splice variant regions in DNA binding domain and hinge domain were identified. The two splice variant regions in PcRXR result four isoforms: PcRXR1-4, encoding 525, 520, 457 and 452 amino acids respectively. PcEcR was highly expressed in the hepatopancreas and eyestalk and PcRXR was highly expressed in the eyestalk among eight examined tissues. Both PcEcR and PcRXR had induced expression after eyestalk ablation (ESA) in the three examined tissues. In muscle, PcEcR and PcRXR were upregulated after ESA, PcEcR reached the highest level on day 3 after ESA and increased 33.5-fold relative to day 0, and PcRXR reached highest the level on day 1 after ESA and increased 2.7-fold relative to day 0. In the hepatopancreas, PcEcR and PcRXR dEcReased continuously after ESA, and the expression levels of PcEcR and PcRXR were only 0.7% and 1.7% on day 7 after ESA relative to day 0, respectively. In the ovaries, PcEcR was upregulated after ESA, reached the highest level on day 3 after ESA, increased 3.0-fold relative to day 0, and the expression level of PcRXR changed insignificantly after ESA (p > 0.05). The different responses of PcEcR and PcRXR after ESA indicates that different tissues play different roles (and coordinates their functions) in molting.
Project description:The intermolt crustacean Y-organ (YO) maintains a basal state mediated by pulsatile release of molt inhibiting hormone (MIH), a neuropeptide produced in the eyestalk ganglia, inhibiting YO ecdysteroidogenesis. Reduction of MIH results in YO activation and the animal enters premolt. In the crab, Gecarcinus lateralis, molting was induced by eyestalk ablation (ESA). ESA animals were injected with either rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, or DMSO vehicle at Day 0. YOs were harvested at 1, 3, and 7 days post-ESA and processed for high throughput RNA sequencing. ESA-induced increases in mRNA levels of mTOR signaling genes (e.g., mTOR, Rheb, TSC1/2, Raptor, Akt, and S6 kinase) declined following rapamycin treatment. In concert with mTOR inhibition, mRNA levels of ecdysteroid biosynthesis genes (e.g., Nvd, Spo, Sad, Dib, and Phm) were decreased and accompanied by a decrease in hemolymph ecdysteroid titer. By contrast, rapamycin increased the mRNA level of FKBP12, the rapamycin-binding protein, as well as the mRNA levels of genes associated with Wnt and insulin-like growth factor signaling pathways. Many MIH and transforming growth factor-? signaling genes were down regulated in ESA animals. These results indicate that mTOR activity either directly or indirectly controls transcription of genes that drive activation of the YO.