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Molecular characterization and juvenile hormone-regulated transcription of the vitellogenin receptor in the cabbage beetle Colaphellus bowringi

Liu, Wen, Guo, Shuang, Sun, Dan, Zhu, Li, Zhu, Fen, Lei, Chao-Liang, Sheng, Long, Phelps, Brian, Wang, Xiao-Ping
Comparative biochemistry and physiology 2019 v.229 pp. 69-75
Brassicaceae, Colaphellus bowringi, RNA interference, amino acids, complementary DNA, fat body, females, genes, hemolymph, insect pests, juvenile hormones, juveniles, messenger RNA, oogenesis, open reading frames, prediction, protein domains, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, vegetables, vitellogenin, Asia
The vitellogenin receptor (VgR) is highly expressed in the ovaries where it is responsible for vitellogenin (Vg) deposition during oogenesis in insects. Therefore, identifying the VgR of insect pests, and understanding the mechanism regulating its expression, could lead to the development of pest management strategies based on disrupting reproduction. We cloned and identified VgR in the cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi, which is a serious pest of cruciferous vegetables in Asia. The regulation of VgR transcription by juvenile hormone (JH) was also investigated. The results show that C. bowringi VgR cDNA contains an open reading frame of 5310 bp encoding 1769 amino acid residues. Protein domain prediction indicates that C. bowringi VgR belongs to the LDLR gene superfamily, having the same group of structural domains that has been well characterized in other insects. VgR mRNA was highly expressed in the ovaries of reproductive female cabbage beetles. Knockdown of VgR reduced yolk deposition in the ovaries, increased the accumulation of Vg proteins in the hemolymph and decreased the transcription of Vg1 and Vg2 in the fat body. RNA interference and hormone challenge experiments showed that JH induced VgR transcription via the JH intracellular receptor methoprene-tolerant (Met) and the JH-responsive transcription factor Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1). Our results suggest that there is a feedback loop between VgR transcription in the ovaries and Vg transcription in the fat body. JH acting through Met-Kr-h1 pathway induces the transcription of the VgR that is essential for Vg uptake and reproductive development. These findings not only reveal the potential JH signaling mechanism regulating VgR transcription, but may also contribute to the development of pest control strategies based on disrupting endocrine-regulated reproduction.