Ecdysone receptor isoforms play distinct roles in larval-pupal-adult transition in Leptinotarsa decemlineata.
ABSTRACT: A heterodimer of two nuclear receptors, ecdysone receptor (EcR) and ultraspiracle, mediates 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signaling to modulate many aspects in insect life, such as molting and metamorphosis, reproduction, diapause and innate immunity. In the present paper, we intended to determine the isoform-specific roles of EcR during larval-pupal-adult transition in the Colorado potato beetle. Double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) were prepared using the common (dsEcR) or isoform-specific (dsEcRA, dsEcRB1) regions of EcR as templates. Ingestion of either dsEcR or dsEcRA, rather than dsEcRB1, by the penultimate (3rd) and final (4th) instar larvae caused failure of larval-pupal and pupal-adult ecdysis. The RNA interference (RNAi) larvae remained as prepupae, or became deformed pupae and adults. Determination of messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of EcR isoforms found that LdEcRA regulates the expression of LdEcRB1. Moreover, silencing the two EcR transcripts, LdEcRA or LdEcRB1 reduced the mRNA levels of Ldspo and Ldsad, and lowered 20E titer. In contrast, the expression levels of HR3, HR4, E74 and E75 were significantly decreased in the LdEcR or LdEcRA RNAi larvae, but not in LdEcRB1 depleted specimens. Dietary supplement with 20E did not restore the expression of five 20E signaling genes (USP, HR3, HR4, E74 and E75), and only partially alleviated the pupation defects in dsEcR- or dsEcRA-fed beetles. These data suggest that EcR plays isoform-specific roles in the regulation of ecdysteroidogenesis and the transduction of 20E signal in L. decemlineata.
Project description:Ecdysteroids regulate insect growth and development through a heterodimeric complex of nuclear receptors consisting of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and ultraspiracle (USP). In the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, two isoforms each of EcR and USP have been identified. Quantitative real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis showed isoform-specific developmental expression of both EcR and USP in the epidermis and the midgut dissected from the final instar larvae and pupae. Injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) prepared using the common or isoform-specific regions of EcR or USP as templates caused derailment of development. EcR common region (EcRC) or EcRA dsRNA caused more severe effects, and most of the treated larvae died prior to pupation. EcRB dsRNA caused less severe effects and most of the treated larvae became pupae but showed developmental defects. Only dsRNA prepared against USP common region but not against USPA or USPB isoform-specific region caused developmental defects during larval-pupal metamorphosis. Determination of mRNA levels of EcR isoforms and 20-hydroxyecdysone-response (20E) genes (broad, E75, E74, HR3 and FTZ-F1) by qRT-PCR in the larvae injected with EcRA, EcRB or EcRC dsRNA showed that EcRA initiates ecdysteroid action by regulation the expression of EcRB and 20E-response genes. These data suggest that the EcR but not USP isoforms play distinct roles during the larval-pupal metamorphosis and EcRA plays a dominant role in transduction of ecdysteroid response in T. castaneum.
Project description:The Aedes aegypti mosquito plays an important role in the spread of diseases, including epidemic ones, such as dengue fever, Zika virus disease, yellow fever, and chikungunya disease. To control the population of Ae.aegypti, we transferred an HR3 RNAi fragment into the microalgae Chlamydomonas, which serves as food for Ae.aegypti larvae. Results showed that the HR3 RNAi transgenic algal strains were lethal to Ae.aegypti. The integumentary system of larvae fed with HR3 RNAi transgenic algal strains was severely damaged. Muscles of the larvae were unevenly distributed and disordered, and their midgut showed disintegration of the intestinal cavity. RNA-Seq results demonstrated that on the 4th day of inoculation with the transgenic algae, the abundance of early expressed genes in the 20E signal transduction pathway of larvae fed with the HR3 RNAi transgenic algal strain significantly reduced. These genes include E74, E75, E93, and 20E receptor complex EcR/USP and FTZ-F1 gene regulated by HR3. In later experiments, a scale test of 300 Ae.aegypti eggs per group was carried out for 30 days, and the survival rate of Ae.aegypti fed with the HR3 RNAi transgenic strain was only 1.3%. These results indicate that the HR3 RNAi transgenic strain exerts obvious insecticidal effect.
Project description:Autophagy is finely regulated at multiple levels and plays crucial roles in development and disease. In the fat body of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, autophagy occurs and Atg gene expression peaks during the nonfeeding molting and pupation stages when the steroid hormone (20-hydroxyecdysone; 20E) is high. Injection of 20E into the feeding larvae upregulated Atg genes and reduced TORC1 activity resulting in autophagy induction in the fat body. Conversely, RNAi knockdown of the 20E receptor partner (USP) or targeted overexpression of a dominant negative mutant of the 20E receptor (EcR (DN) ) in the larval fat body reduced autophagy and downregulated the Atg genes, confirming the importance of 20E-induction of Atg gene expression during pupation. Moreover, in vitro treatments of the larval fat body with 20E upregulated the Atg genes. Five Atg genes were potentially 20E primary-responsive, and a 20E response element was identified in the Atg1 (ortholog of human ULK1) promoter region. Furthermore, RNAi knockdown of 4 key genes (namely Br-C, E74, HR3 and ?ftz-F1) in the 20E-triggered transcriptional cascade reduced autophagy and downregulated Atg genes to different levels. Taken together, we conclude that in addition to blocking TORC1 activity for autophagosome initiation, 20E upregulates Atg genes to induce autophagy in the Bombyx fat body.
Project description:As revealed in a previous microarray study to identify genes regulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and juvenile hormone (JH) in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, E93 expression in the fat body was markedly low prior to the wandering stage but abundant during larval-pupal metamorphosis. Induced by 20E and suppressed by JH, E93 expression follows this developmental profile in multiple silkworm alleles. The reduction of E93 expression by RNAi disrupted 20E signaling and the 20E-induced autophagy, caspase activity, and cell dissociation in the fat body. Reducing E93 expression also decreased the expression of the 20E-induced pupal-specific cuticle protein genes and prevented growth and differentiation of the wing discs. Importantly, the two HTH domains in E93 are critical for inducing the expression of a subset of 20E response genes, including EcR, USP, E74, Br-C, and Atg1. By contrast, the LLQHLL and PLDLSAK motifs in E93 inhibit its transcriptional activity. E93 binds to the EcR-USP complex via a physical association with USP through its LLQHLL motif; and this association is enhanced by 20E-induced EcR-USP interaction, which attenuates the transcriptional activity of E93. E93 acts through the two HTH domains to bind to GAGA-containing motifs present in the Atg1 promoter region for inducing gene expression. In conclusion, E93 transcriptionally modulates 20E signaling to promote Bombyx larval-pupal metamorphosis.
Project description:A number of insect effector genes activated by the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) are dually controlled by the ecdysteroid receptor (EcR/USP) and products of ecdysteroid early responsive genes (E74, E75, and Broad). However, the molecular mechanism of this dual action is poorly understood. Here we examined transcriptional activation of the vitellogenin (Vg) gene in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, by EcR/USP and E74 in response to an elevation of 20E titers. There are two isoforms of the Aedes E74 gene, AaE74A and AaE74B, which have a common C-terminal Ets DNA-binding domain and isoform-specific N termini in the female mosquito. Inhibiting expression of AaE74B but not AaE74A by RNA interference led to substantial reduction in the Vg gene expression. AaE74B and the ecdysteroid receptor synergistically enhanced 20E-induced transcription of the Vg promoter. This action required the E74-binding sites and the ecdysone response elements in the Vg 5' regulatory region. Two-hybrid assays and coimmunoprecipitation analyses demonstrated direct interaction between AaE74B and AaEcR/AaUSP. Moreover, disruption of this interaction by a dominant negative E74 mutant abolished the enhanced activation of Vg. Therefore, the cooperative interaction between AaE74B and the ecdysteroid receptor is required for high-level expression of the Vg gene in vivo. The synergistic activation is accomplished through their 20E-dependent protein-protein interaction on the gene promoter. This study reveals how the 20E direct-indirect regulation of an effector gene is achieved at the molecular level.
Project description:Insect Taiman (Tai) binds to methoprene-tolerant to form a heterodimeric complex, mediating juvenile hormone (JH) signaling to regulate larval development and to prevent premature metamorphosis. Tai also acts as a steroid receptor coactivator of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) receptor heterodimer, ecdysone receptor (EcR) and Ultraspiracle (USP), to control the differentiation of early germline cells and the migration of specific follicle cells and border cells in ovaries in several insect species. In holometabolous insects, however, whether Tai functions as the coactivator of EcR/USP to transduce 20E message during larval-pupal transition is unknown. In the present paper, we found that the LdTai mRNA levels were positively correlated with circulating JH and 20E titers in Leptinotarsa decemlineata; and ingestion of either JH or 20E stimulated the transcription of LdTai. Moreover, RNA interference (RNAi)-aided knockdown of LdTai at the fourth (final) instar stage repressed both JH and 20E signals, inhibited larval growth and shortened larval developing period. The knockdown caused 100% larval lethality due to failure of larval-pupal ecdysis. Under the apolysed larval cuticle, the LdTai RNAi prepupae possessed pupal thorax. In contrast, the process of tracheal ecdysis was uncompleted. Neither JH nor 20E rescued the aforementioned defectives in LdTai RNAi larvae. It appears that Tai mediates both JH and 20E signaling. Our results uncover a link between JH and 20E pathways during metamorphosis in L. decemlineata.
Project description:Little is known about how the putative juvenile hormone (JH) receptor, the bHLH-PAS transcription factor MET, is involved in 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E; the molting hormone) action. Here we report that two MET proteins found in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, participate in 20E signal transduction. Met is 20E responsive and its expression peaks during molting and pupation, when the 20E titer is high. As found with results from RNAi knockdown of EcR-USP (the ecdysone receptor genes), RNAi knockdown of Met at the early wandering stage disrupts the 20E-triggered transcriptional cascade, preventing tissue remodeling (including autophagy, apoptosis and destruction of larval tissues and generation of adult structures) and causing lethality during the larval-pupal transition. MET physically interacts with EcR-USP. Moreover, MET, EcR-USP and the 20E-response element (EcRE) form a protein-DNA complex, implying that MET might modulate 20E-induced gene transcription by interacting with EcR-USP. In conclusion, the 20E induction of MET is required for the maximal action of 20E during Bombyx metamorphosis.
Project description:Three distinct classes of nuclear receptors, EcR, E75, and HR3, are key regulators in the ecdysone-inducible gene activation cascade in insects. The transcription of these genes is induced by ecdysone (20E) differently, although the detailed mechanisms underlying their responses to 20E are largely unknown. We identified ecdysone response elements (EcREs) present in the promoters of genes coding BmEcR-B1, BmE75-A, and BHR3-B isoforms from Bombyx mori employing luciferase reporter assays in an ecdysteroid-responsive cultured cell line, NIAS-Bm-aff3 (aff3). The EcRE of BmEcR-B1 at -2800 comprises of two adjacent elements separated by 5 bp, E1 (15 bp) and E2 (21 bp), both of which are required for the 20E response. Further analysis using electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that E1 binds to the EcR/USP heterodimer and that E2 may bind to the E-box (CACGTG) binding factor such as bHLH protein. The unique E1+E2-type EcRE is also detected in the promoter upstream regions of EcR-B1 from seven lepidopteran species studied. In contrast, both a 20 bp EcRE identified in the promoter of BmE75-A and a 18 bp EcRE identified in the BHR3-B promoter, contained only E1-type EcR/USP binding element but the E2 type element was not in the promoter regions of these genes. The combination of presence of the E2 element or other cis-regulatory elements in promoter regions explains the different 20E response of each class of nuclear receptor genes. Furthermore, the E1+E2 structure for EcR-B1 can be involved in a possible cross-talk between ecdysteroid and other regulatory pathways.
Project description:Stem cell regulation by local signals is intensely studied, but less is known about the effects of hormonal signals on stem cells. In Drosophila, the primary steroid twenty-hydroxyecdysone (20E) regulates ovarian germline stem cells (GSCs) but was considered dispensable for testis GSC maintenance. Male GSCs reside in a microenvironment (niche) generated by somatic hub cells and adjacent cyst stem cells (CySCs). Here, we show that depletion of 20E from adult males by overexpressing a dominant negative form of the Ecdysone receptor (EcR) or its heterodimeric partner ultraspiracle (usp) causes GSC and CySC loss that is rescued by 20E feeding, uncovering a requirement for 20E in stem cell maintenance. EcR and USP are expressed, activated and autonomously required in the CySC lineage to promote CySC maintenance, as are downstream genes ftz-f1 and E75. In contrast, GSCs non-autonomously require ecdysone signaling. Global inactivation of EcR increases cell death in the testis that is rescued by expression of EcR-B2 in the CySC lineage, indicating that ecdysone signaling supports stem cell viability primarily through a specific receptor isoform. Finally, EcR genetically interacts with the NURF chromatin-remodeling complex, which we previously showed maintains CySCs. Thus, although 20E levels are lower in males than females, ecdysone signaling acts through distinct cell types and effectors to ensure both ovarian and testis stem cell maintenance.
Project description:The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and the serine/threonine Ste20-like kinase Hippo signal promote programmed cell death (PCD) during development, although the interaction between them remains unclear. Here, we present evidence that 20E up-regulates Hippo to induce PCD during the metamorphic development of insects. We found that Hippo is involved in 20E-induced metamorphosis via promoting the phosphorylation and cytoplasmic retention of Yorkie (Yki), causing suppressed expression of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP), thereby releasing its inhibitory effect on caspase. Furthermore, we show that 20E induced the expression of Hippo at the transcriptional level through the ecdysone receptor (EcR), ultraspiracle protein (USP), and hormone receptor 3 (HR3). We also found that Hippo suppresses the binding of Yki complex to the HR3 promoter. In summary, 20E up-regulates the transcription of Hippo via EcRB1, USP1, and HR3 to induce PCD, and Hippo has negative feedback effects on HR3 expression. These two signaling pathways coordinate PCD during insect metamorphosis.