JNK signaling pathway regulates the development of ovaries and synthesis of vitellogenin (Vg) in the swimming crab Portunus trituberculatus.
ABSTRACT: The development of Portunus trituberculatus egg cells is directly related to the nutritional status of the fertilized egg, which affects the key production stages of offspring hatching. Vitellogenin plays a key role in the nutrient supply required for the development of the egg cells. The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is an important member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) superfamily and plays an important role in cell proliferation, transformation, differentiation, and apoptosis. At present, there are no reports on the involvement of the JNK signaling pathway in the reproductive regulation of P. trituberculatus. In this study, rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends amplification technology was used to clone the full length of JNK complementary DNA, which has a length of 2094 bp, including an open reading frame (ORF) of 1266 bp encoding a 421-amino acid protein. The protein includes the S_TKC conserved domain with a TPY phosphorylation site, which is a typical feature of the JNK gene family. Observing tissue sections found the oocytes in the inhibitor group developed slowly, while the oocytes in the activated group showed accelerated development. Meanwhile, Portunus trituberculatus JNK and vitellogenin (Vg) genes exhibited the same trend in the hepatopancreas and ovaries, and the expression of the SP600125 group was downregulated (P?
Project description:Vitellogenesis is the process of yolk formation via accumulating vitellin (Vn) with nutrients in the oocytes. Expression of vitellogenin (Vg), the precursor of Vn, is one of the indicators for the start of vitellogenesis. In Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), the type-II vitellogenesis-inhibiting hormone (VIH-2) effectively suppresses hepatopancreatic Vg mRNA expression. In this study, we demonstrate the increasing transcript levels of hepatopancreatic Vg during L. vannamei ovarian development, suggesting that the hepatopancreas-derived Vg/Vn may also contribute to vitellogenesis in this species. Using a combination of in vivo injections and in vitro primary cell cultures, we provide evidences that the inhibition of VIH-2 on hepatopancreatic Vg gene expression is mediated through a functional coupling of the GC/cGMP pathway with different MAPK-dependent cascades in female shrimp. In VIH-2 signaling, the NO-independent GC/cGMP/PKG cascades were upstream of the MAPKs. Activations of the MAPK signal by VIH-2 include the phosphorylation of JNK and the mRNA/protein expression of P38MAPK. Additionally, the cAMP/PKA pathway is another positive intracellular signal for hepatopancreatic Vg mRNA expression but is independent of its VIH-2 regulation. Our findings establish a model for the signal transduction mechanism of Vg regulation by VIH and shed light on the biological functions and signaling of the CHH family in crustaceans.
Project description:While much effort has been put into understanding vitellogenesis in insects and other organisms, much less is known of this process in ticks. There are several steps that facilitate yolk formation in developing oocytes of which the vitellogenin receptor (VgR) is a key component. The tick VgR binds vitellogenin (Vg) circulating in the hemolymph to initiate receptor-mediated endocytosis and its transformation into vitellin (Vn). The conversion of Vg into Vn, the final form of the yolk protein, occurs inside oocytes of the female tick ovary. Vn is critical to tick embryos since it serves as the nutritional source for their development, survival, and reproduction. Recent studies also suggest that pathogenic microbes, i.e., Babesia spp., that rely on ticks for propagation and dissemination likely "hitchhike" onto Vg molecules as they enter developing oocytes through the VgR. Suppressing VgR messenger RNA synthesis via RNA interference (RNAi) completely blocked Babesia spp. transmission into developing tick oocytes, thereby inhibiting vertical transmission of these pathogenic microbes from female to eggs. To date, VgRs from only four tick species, Dermacentor variabilis, Rhipicephalus microplus, Amblyomma hebraeum, and Haemaphysalis longicornis, have been fully sequenced and characterized. In contrast, many more VgRs have been described in various insect species. VgR is a critical component in egg formation and maturation that can serve as a precise target for tick control. However, additional research will help identify unique residues within the receptor that are specific to ticks or other arthropod disease vectors while avoiding cross-reactivity with non-target species. Detailed knowledge of the molecular structure and functional role of tick VgRs will enable development of novel vaccines to control ticks and tick-borne diseases.
Project description:Panonychus citri is one of the most damaging pests of horticultural crops. Conventional control of this pest population through pesticides has led to the enhanced pest resistance. Management of P. citri population through RNAi, is still largely unknown. In oviparous organisms, fabrication and development of yolk protein play a vital role in the reproduction. Vitellin (Vn) is the source of eggs storage that helps in proper functioning of Vitellogenin (Vg) and Vitellogenin receptor (VgR). VgR is very compulsory protein for the development of Vg into oocytes. In the current study, Vg (PcVg) and VgR (PcVgR) genes were studied and their expressions at different developmental stages were quantified by RT-qPCR. Females treated with dsRNA of PcVg and PcVgR genes exhibited reduction in gene expression. Down regulation of target genes significantly effected oviposition and reduced the egg laying capacity up to 48% as compared to control (ds-egfp). Synergistic effect of target gene's dsRNA was also accessed that reduced the egg laying up to 60.42%. Furthermore, combination of target dsRNA on deutonymph and protonymph also resulted in 67% and 70% reduction in eggs, respectively. Synergistic effect of dsRNA at 1000?ng/ul resulted in longer life span as compared to control treatments. This study suggests to develop a new strategy of P. citri population control by reducing its reproduction.
Project description:The production and uptake of yolk protein play an important role in the reproduction of all oviparous organisms. Vitellogenin (Vg) is the precursor of vitellin (Vn), which is the major egg storage protein, and vitellogenin receptor (VgR) is a necessary protein for the uptake of Vg into developing oocytes. In this paper, we characterize the full-length Vg and VgR, PcVg1 and PcVgR, respectively, of the citrus red mite Panonychus citri (McGregor). The PcVg1 cDNA is 5748 nucleotides (nt) with a 5553-nt open reading frame (ORF) coding for 1851 amino acids (aa), and the PcVgR is 6090 nt, containing an intact ORF of 5673 nt coding an expected protein of 1891 aa. The PcVg1 aa sequence shows a typical GLCG domain and several K/RXXR cleavage sites, and PcVgR comprises two ligand-binding domains, two epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like regions containing YWTD motifs, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic domain. An analysis of the aa sequences and phylogenetics implied that both genes were genetically distinct from those of ticks and insects. The transcriptional profiles determined by real-time quantitative PCR in different developmental stages showed that both genes present the same expressional tendencies in eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. This suggested that the biosynthesis and uptake of PcVg occurs coordinately. The strong reproductive capacity of P. citri has been hypothesized as an important factor in its resistance; consequently, understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating Vg and VgR are fundamental for mite control.
Project description:Enhancing the production of aquatic animals is crucial for fishery management and aquaculture applications. Ovaries are specialized tissues that play critical roles in producing oocytes and hormones. Significant biochemical changes take place during the sexual maturation of Portunus trituberculatus, but the genetics of this process has not been extensively studied. Transcriptome sequencing can be used to determine gene expression changes within specific periods. In the current study, we used transcriptome sequencing to produce a comprehensive transcript dataset for the ovarian development of P. trituberculatus. Approximately 100 million sequencing reads were generated, and 126,075 transcripts were assembled. Functional annotation of the obtained transcripts revealed important pathways in ovarian development, such as those involving the vitellogenin gene. Also, we performed deep sequencing of ovaries in phases III and IV of sexual maturation in P. trituberculatus. Differential analysis of gene expression identified 506 significantly differentially expressed genes, which belong to 20 pathway, transporters, development, transcription factors, metabolism of other amino acids, carbohydrate and lipid, solute carrier family members, and enzymes. Taken together, our study provides the first comprehensive transcriptomic resource for P. trituberculatus ovaries, which will strengthen understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the sexual maturation process and advance molecular nutritional studies of P. trituberculatus.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The swimming crab, Portunus trituberculatus, which is naturally distributed in the coastal waters of Asia-Pacific countries, is an important farmed species in China. Salinity is one of the most important abiotic factors that influence not only the distribution and abundance of crustaceans, it is also an important factor for artificial propagation of the crab. To better understand the interaction between salinity stress and osmoregulation, we performed a transcriptome analysis in the gills of Portunus trituberculatus challenged with salinity stress, using the Illumina Deep Sequencing technology.<h4>Results</h4>We obtained 27,696,835, 28,268,353 and 33,901,271 qualified Illumina read pairs from low salinity challenged (LC), non-challenged (NC), and high salinity challenged (HC) Portunus trituberculatus cDNA libraries, respectively. The overall de novo assembly of cDNA sequence data generated 94,511 unigenes, with an average length of 644 bp. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that 1,705 genes differentially expressed in salinity stress compared to the controls, including 615 and 1,516 unigenes in NC vs LC and NC vs HC respectively. GO functional enrichment analysis results showed some differentially expressed genes were involved in crucial processes related to osmoregulation, such as ion transport processes, amino acid metabolism and synthesis processes, proteolysis process and chitin metabolic process.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This work represents the first report of the utilization of the next generation sequencing techniques for transcriptome analysis in Portunus trituberculatus and provides valuable information on salinity adaptation mechanism. Results reveal a substantial number of genes modified by salinity stress and a few important salinity acclimation pathways, which will serve as an invaluable resource for revealing the molecular basis of osmoregulation in Portunus trituberculatus. In addition, the most comprehensive sequences of transcripts reported in this study provide a rich source for identification of novel genes in the crab.
Project description:Vitellogenin (Vg), a yolk protein precursor, is the primary egg nutrient source involved in insect reproduction and embryo development. The Cotton Boll weevil (CBW) Anthonomus grandis Boheman, the most important cotton pest in Americas, accumulates large amounts of Vg during reproduction. However, the precise role of this protein during embryo development in this insect remains unknown. Herein, we investigated the effects of vitellogenin (AgraVg) knockdown on the egg-laying and egg viability in A. grandis females, and also characterized morphologically the unviable eggs. AgraVg transcripts were found during all developmental stages of A. grandis, with highest abundance in females. Silencing of AgraVg culminated in a significant reduction in transcript amount, around 90%. Despite this transcriptional reduction, egg-laying was not affected in dsRNA-treated females but almost 100% of the eggs lost their viability. Eggs from dsRNA-treated females showed aberrant embryos phenotype suggesting interference at different stages of embryonic development. Unlike for other insects, the AgraVg knockdown did not affect the egg-laying ability of A. grandis, but hampered A. grandis reproduction by perturbing embryo development. We concluded that the Vg protein is essential for A. grandis reproduction and a good candidate to bio-engineer the resistance against this devastating cotton pest.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The genetic and physiological pathways regulating behavior in solitary species are hypothesized to have been co-opted to regulate social behavior in social species. One classic example is the interaction between vitellogenin (an egg-yolk and storage protein) and juvenile hormone, which are positively correlated in most insect species but have modified interactions in highly eusocial insects. In some of these species (including some termites, ants, and the honey bee), juvenile hormone and vitellogenin levels are negatively correlated and juvenile hormone has shifted its role from a gonadotropin to a regulator of maturation and division of labor in the primarily sterile workers. The function of vitellogenin also seems to have broadened to encompass similar roles. Thus, the functions and molecular interactions of juvenile hormone and vitellogenin are hypothesized to have undergone changes during the evolution of eusociality, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are unknown.Bumble bees offer an excellent model system for testing how the relationship between juvenile hormone and vitellogenin evolved from solitary to social species. Bumble bee colonies are primitively eusocial and comprised of a single reproductive queen and facultatively sterile workers. In Bombus terrestris, juvenile hormone retains its ancestral role as a gonadotropin and is also hypothesized to regulate aggressive behavior. However, the function of vitellogenin and its interactions with juvenile hormone have not yet been characterized. RESULTS: By characterizing vitellogenin RNA expression levels (vg) in B. terrestris we show that vg is not associated with task and only partially associated with worker age, queen presence, and caste (queen vs worker). The correlations of vg with ovarian activation were not consistent across experiments, but both vg and ovarian activation were significantly associated with levels of aggression experienced by workers. Treatment with juvenile hormone did not affect vg levels in queenless groups. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that social interactions affect vg levels more strongly than a worker's reproductive physiological state, and that juvenile hormone and vg are uncoupled in this species. Thus, although juvenile hormone maintains its traditional role as gonadotropin in B. terrestris, vg has already been co-opted into a novel role, consistent with the model that Bombus represents an intermediate stage in the evolution of eusociality.
Project description:Vitellogenin (Vg), the main egg storage protein precursor, plays an integral role in many oviparous animals, including Harmonia axyridis, an important agent for the biological control of many insect pests. In this study, the full-length Vg gene of was cloned. The open reading frame (ORF) of H. axyridis Vg cDNA is 5,403?bp in length and encodes 1,800 amino acids, with a predicted molecular mass of 211.88 KDa (accession number in NCBI: KX442718). Recombinant protein (18?kDa) expressed by the cloned Vg gene was characterized, and the effects of the expression of this protein on the physiology of H. axyridis were investigated. We found that Vg fragment significantly increased the egg production of H. axyridis. Furthermore, we also found that the activities of trypsin and lipase in H. axyridis were significantly higher in the groups treated with Vg fragment compared with those of the controls. The data from this study also reveals that Vg expression has significant effects on the physiology of H. axyridis and leads to increased egg production in these insects. These results may have future implications for increasing the reproduction rates of beneficial insects.
Project description:Many insect species, such as aphids, leafhoppers, planthoppers, and whiteflies harbor obligate bacterial symbionts that can be transovarially transmitted to offspring through the oocytes of female insects. Whether obligate bacterial symbionts can carry important molecules/resources to the embryos to support egg development is still unknown. Here, we show that the vitellogenin (Vg) precursor of rice leafhopper <i>Nephotettix cincticeps</i> is biosynthesized by the fat body, secreted into the hemolymph and subsequently cleaved into the 35- and 178-kDa subunits, whereas only the 178-kDa subunit is taken up by the leading end of oocytes in a receptor-dependent manner or moves into the posterior pole of the terminal oocyte in association with obligate bacterial symbiont "<i>Candidatus</i> Nasuia deltocephalinicola" (hereafter <i>Nasuia</i>) in a receptor-independent manner. Furthermore, the 178-kDa Vg subunit can directly interact with a surface channel molecule (porin) on the envelope of <i>Nasuia</i>, allowing Vg to enter bacterial cytoplasm. Thus, Vg can hitchhike the ancient oocyte entry path of <i>Nasuia</i>, the common obligate symbiont of leafhoppers. Knocking down a <i>Nasuia</i> growth-related protein expression or treatment with porin antibody strongly prevents the ability of <i>Nasuia</i> to carry Vgs into oocytes and impair insect egg development. <i>Nasuia</i>-carried Vgs provide at least 20% of the total Vgs in the developing eggs. We anticipate that the bacterial symbiont-mediated Vg uptake into oocytes to support efficient egg development may be a common pattern shared by many insects.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Many insects harbor obligate bacterial symbionts that can be vertically transmitted to offspring by female insects through eggs. Here, we report that leafhopper vitellogenin (Vg) recognizes and binds a surface channel molecule (porin) on the envelope of obligate bacterial symbiont <i>Nasuia</i>, which potentially induces the opening of porin channels for Vg to access the cytoplasm of <i>Nasuia</i> Thus, Vg can exploit bacterial symbionts as the independent carriers into the oocytes. Such <i>Nasuia</i>-carried Vg contents support efficient insect egg development. Thus, our findings indicate that insects have evolved strategies to exploit the symbionts for carrying additional Vgs to guarantee optimal insect reproduction.