, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 365-376
Date: 26 Jan 2007

Identification of steroid hormone signaling pathway in insect cell differentiation

Abstract.

To dissect the steroid hormone signaling pathway involved in insect cell morphological differentiation, we extended the application of the doublestranded RNA-mediated interference (dsRNAi) method to the epidermal IAL-PID2 cell line from Plodia interpunctella Lepidoptera. We first demonstrated that dsRNA was capable of efficiently blocking the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) inducibility of proteins that belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily, including the ecdysone receptor (EcR), its partner Ultraspiracle (USP), the insect homolog of the vertebrate retinoid X receptor and the HR3 transcription factor. We then showed that inhibiting the 20E induction of EcR, USP or HR3 proteins prevented the increased synthesis of β tubulin and consequently the morphological transformation of cells. Thanks to this functional approach, we have shown, for the first time, the participation of EcR, USP and HR3 in a 20E signaling pathway that directs morphological differentiation in insect cells by regulating β tubulin expression.

Received 17 October 2006; received after revision 21 November 2006; accepted 18 December 2006