Rapid, Non-Genomic Responses to Ecdysteroids and Catecholamines Mediated by a Novel Drosophila G-Protein-Coupled Receptor
Classically, steroid hormones have been thought to mediate their actions by binding to intracellular proteins that migrate to the nucleus and induce changes in gene expression. However, it is now becoming clear that steroids may also induce rapid actions through the activation of various second messenger pathways by cell surface receptors. Considerable controversy exists over the mechanisms underlying these non-genomic effects. Thus, some effects may be attributable to the allosteric actions of steroids on ligand-gated ion channels. Other effects may be mediated via the activation of G-protein coupled second messenger pathways, including in a few cases the direct activation of specific G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs).
This chapter reviews the evidence for the non-genomic actions of ecdysteroids and parallels are drawn with the non-genomic actions of vertebrate steroids in a number of systems. Possible molecular mechanisms for non-genomic actions of steroids are discussed. These include the possible actions of steroids on nuclear receptors that migrate to the cell surface and also their actions on cell surface receptors including, GPCRs. Recent evidence for the actions of ecdysteroids on insect cell surface receptors, including a recently cloned Drosophila GPCR, DmDopEcR, is reviewed. The direction of future research in the area of non-genomic actions of ecdysteroids is considered.
KeywordsNon-genomic actions of steroids ecdysteroids G-protein coupled receptors dopamine Drosophila
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