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HR38, an ortholog of NR4A family nuclear receptors, mediates 20-hydroxyecdysone regulation of carbohydrate metabolism during mosquito reproduction

Dong, Dujuan, Zhang, Yang, Smykal, Vlastimil, Ling, Lin, Raikhel, Alexander S.
Insect biochemistry and molecular biology 2018 v.96 pp. 19-26
Aedes aegypti, RNA interference, blood, carbohydrate metabolism, digestion, ecdysone, ecdysone receptor, ecdysterone, eggs, energy, fecundity, females, gene expression, genes, glycogen, host seeking, phenotype, phosphoglucomutase, steroid hormones, transcription (genetics), transcriptional activation, trehalose, viral diseases of animals and humans
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the principal vector for many dangerous human viral diseases. Carbohydrate metabolism (CM) is essential for supplying the energy necessary for host seeking, blood digestion and rapid egg development of this vector insect. The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and the ecdysone receptor (EcR) are important regulators of CM, coordinating it with female reproductive events. We report here that the NR4A nuclear receptor AHR38 plays a critical role in mediating these actions of 20E and EcR. AHR38 RNA interference (RNAi) depletion in female mosquitoes blocked the transcriptional activation of CM genes encoding phosphoglucomutase (PGM) and trehalose-6-phophate synthase (TPS); it caused an increase of glycogen accumulation and a decrease of the circulating sugar trehalose. This treatment also resulted in a dramatic reduction in fecundity. Considering that these phenotypes resulting from AHR38 RNAi depletion are similar to those of EcR RNAi, we investigated a possible connection between these transcription factors in CM regulation. EcR RNAi inhibits the AHR38 gene expression. Moreover, the 20E-induced EcR complex directly activates AHR38 by binding to the ecdysone response element (EcRE) in the upstream regulatory region of this gene. The present work has implicated AHR38 in the 20E-mediated control of CM and provided new insight into mechanisms of 20E regulation of metabolism during female mosquito reproduction.