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Mech Dev. 2008 Jul;125(7):601-16. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2008.03.004. Epub 2008 Mar 27.

bHLH-PAS family transcription factor methoprene-tolerant plays a key role in JH action in preventing the premature development of adult structures during larval-pupal metamorphosis.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, S225 Ag. Science N, Lexington, KY 40546, USA.

Abstract

The biological actions of juvenile hormones are well studied; they regulate almost all aspects of an insect's life. However, the molecular actions of these hormones are not well understood. Recent studies in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, demonstrated the utility of this insect as a model system to study JH action. These studies confirmed that the bHLH-PAS family transcription factor, methoprene-tolerant (TcMet,) plays a key role in JH action during larval stages. In this study, we investigated the role of TcMet in JH action during larval-pupal metamorphosis. The phenotypes of TcMet RNAi insects shared similarity with the phenotypes of some allatectomized lepidopteran larvae that were attempting to undergo precocious larval-pupal metamorphosis. Knocking-down TcMet during the final instar also disrupted larval-pupal ecdysis, resulting in the development of adultoid underneath the larval skin. However, the loss of TcMet did not completely block remodeling of internal tissues such as midgut. T. castaneum larvae injected with TcMet dsRNA demonstrated a resistance to a JH analog (JHA), hydroprene, irrespective of time and route of application. Knocking-down TcMet also caused down regulation of JH-response genes, JHE and Kr-h1 suggesting that TcMet might be involved in the expression of these genes. Based on the phenotype, gene expression, and JHA action studies in TcMet RNAi insects, this study concludes that Met plays a key role in JH action for preventing the premature development of adult structures during larval-pupal metamorphosis.

PMID:
18450431
PMCID:
PMC2486318
DOI:
10.1016/j.mod.2008.03.004
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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