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Dev Biol. 2005 Apr 15;280(2):362-72.

molting defective is required for ecdysone biosynthesis.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.


20-hydroxyecdysone was discovered as the major biologically active insect steroid hormone half a century ago, yet much remains to be learned about its biosynthesis and its activities. 20-hydroxyecdysone controls many biological processes, including progression between larval stages, entry to pupariation and metamorphosis. A number of genes required for 20-hydroxyecdysone production have been identified, including those encoding enzymes that mediate four of the late steps of biosynthesis. A second smaller group of low ecdysone mutants do not encode enzymes. Here, we report identification of one such gene, which we call molting defective, on the basis of its lethal phenotype. molting defective encodes a nuclear zinc finger protein required for ecdysone biosynthesis.

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