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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2003 Nov;134(2):147-55.

3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase in the lobster mandibular organ: regulation by the eyestalk.

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Department of Biological Science, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790, USA.


The mandibular organ (MO) of the lobster, Homarus americanus, produces the isoprenoid methyl farnesoate (MF), a compound related to insect juvenile hormone (JH). To better understand the synthesis and regulation of MF, we studied 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase (HMGR), the rate-limiting enzyme in isoprenoid biosynthesis. Lobster HMGR had a Km of 11.4 microM for HMG-CoA, a Km of 14.8 microM for NADPH, and was at least 2000-fold more selective for this cofactor than for NADH. Lovastatin and mevalonic acid inhibited HMGR, with KI values of 1.3 nM and 25.3 microM, respectively, whereas MF, farnesoic acid, cholesterol, 20-hydroxyecdysone, and progesterone had no effect. Approximately 75% of the HMGR activity in lobster MO was soluble. Similar levels of HMGR activity were observed in all regions of the MO. Eyestalk removal increased MF synthesis and the activity of farnesoic acid O-methyltransferase (FAOMeT, the final step in MF synthesis) in the MO by 10.7- and 5.7-fold, respectively, and caused a 3.1-fold increase of HMGR activity. Injection of the eyestalk ablated lobsters with an extract of two sinus glands (SG), a neuroendocrine organ in the eyestalk, decreased MF synthesis, FAOMeT activity and HMGR activity to 3, 8, and 20%, respectively, of the levels observed in saline-treated animals. The regulation of crustacean HMGR by the SG suggests that the lobster MO is a useful model system for investigating the cellular regulation of HMGR activity.

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