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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2004 Feb 27;215(1-2):1-10.

Halloween genes encode P450 enzymes that mediate steroid hormone biosynthesis in Drosophila melanogaster.

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1
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB 3280, Coker Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA. lgilbert@unc.edu

Abstract

Mutation of members of the Halloween gene family results in embryonic lethality. We have shown that two of these genes code for enzymes responsible for specific steps in the synthesis of ecdysone, a polyhydroxylated sterol that is the precursor of the major molting hormone of all arthropods, 20-hydroxyecdysone. These two mitochondrial P450 enzymes, coded for by disembodied (dib) (CYP302A1) and shadow (sad) (CYP315A1), are the C22 and C2 hydroxylases, respectively, as shown by transfection of the gene into S2 cells and subsequent biochemical analysis. These are the last two enzymes in the ecdysone biosynthetic pathway. A third enzyme, necessary for the critical conversion of ecdysone to 20-hydroxyecdysone, the 20-monooxygenase, is encoded by shade (shd) (CYP314A1). All three enzymes are mitochondrial although shade has motifs suggesting both mitochondrial and microsomal locations. By tagging these enzymes, their subcellular location has been confirmed by confocal microscopy. Shade is present in several tissues as expected while disembodied and shadow are restricted to the ring gland. The paradigm used should allow us to define the enzymes mediating the entire ecdysteroid biosynthetic pathway.

PMID:
15026169
DOI:
10.1016/j.mce.2003.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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