Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanisms of juvenile hormone action in insects could help fine tune pesticides

Date:
January 18, 2011
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
Researchers have discovered an important step in the activation of juvenile hormone target genes. As butterflies, fruit flies and mosquitoes transform their body structures as they molt from larva to pupa and then adults, a group of juvenile hormones called isoprenoids, inhibit development of adult characteristics until the insects reach a proper stage. Juvenile hormones also play a prominent role in regulating reproductive maturation in adult insects and synthetic juvenile hormone mimics have been widely used as pesticides for mosquito controls.

As butterflies, fruit flies and mosquitoes transform their body structures as they molt from larva to pupa and then adults, a group of juvenile hormones called isoprenoids, inhibit development of adult characteristics until the insects reach a proper stage. Juvenile hormones also play a prominent role in regulating reproductive maturation in adult insects and synthetic juvenile hormone mimics have been widely used as pesticides for mosquito controls.

Virginia Tech researchers have discovered an important step in the activation of juvenile hormone target genes. "Understanding the molecular details in the juvenile hormone signaling may lead to discovery of novel chemicals that target mosquitoes with more selectivity," said Jinsong Zhu, assistant professor of biochemistry with the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech.

The research was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Dec. 27, 2010, in the article, "A heterodimer of two bHLH-PAS proteins mediates the juvenile hormone-induced gene expression," by Meng Li, biochemistry graduate student; Edward A. Mead, postdoctoral associate in biochemistry; and Zhu.

"The secretion of juvenile hormone is drastically reduced in the final larval stage, as a result of which the larva is transformed into a pupa. While an insect protein, Methoprene-tolerant (Met), has been postulated as the top candidate for juvenile hormone receptor, it remains unclear how this protein is activated by juvenile hormone," said Zhu.

He and his group believe that studying the hormone-regulated reproduction have a better chance of elucidating the molecular action of juvenile hormones. They discovered a protein partner for Met in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. This protein, named FISC, forms a complex with Met when juvenile hormone is present. Binding of these two proteins to the regulatory regions of some juvenile hormone target genes is closely correlated with the expression levels of those target genes in the newly emerged adult mosquitoes. Reducing the protein levels of Met or FISC by genetic approaches leads to dampened expression of the juvenile hormone target genes, and decreased egg production after the female mosquitoes take a blood meal.

The study by Zhu's group clearly demonstrates that formation of Met-FISC complex is a critical step in juvenile hormone signaling pathway. Evidence presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper also suggests that fruit flies use the same mechanism in mediating juvenile hormone responses during molting.

Zhu is now collaborating with Professor David Bevan's group in the biochemistry department to analyze the structure-function relationship of the Met protein.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Li, E. A. Mead, J. Zhu. Heterodimer of two bHLH-PAS proteins mediates juvenile hormone-induced gene expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1013914108

Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Mechanisms of juvenile hormone action in insects could help fine tune pesticides." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132209.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2011, January 18). Mechanisms of juvenile hormone action in insects could help fine tune pesticides. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132209.htm
Virginia Tech. "Mechanisms of juvenile hormone action in insects could help fine tune pesticides." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132209.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins