Insect biochemistry and molecular biology

Steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone regulation of the very-high-density lipoprotein (VHDL) receptor phosphorylation for VHDL uptake.

PMID 23416133


During the metamorphic stage of holometabolous insects, the biosynthetic precursors needed for the synthesis of a large number of adult proteins are acquired from the selective absorption of storage proteins. The very-high-density lipoprotein (VHDL), a non-hexameric storage protein, is consumed by the fat body from the hemolymph through VHDL receptor (VHDL-R)-mediated endocytosis. However, the mechanism of the uptake of VHDL by a VHDL-R remains unclear. In this study, a VHDL-R from Helicoverpa armigera was found to be involved in 20E-regulated VHDL uptake through the regulation of steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). The transcripts of VHDL-R were detected mainly in the fat body and integument during the wandering stage. The transcription of VHDL-R was upregulated by 20E through the ecdysteroid receptor (EcRB1) and Ultraspiracle (USP1). In addition, 20E stimulates the phosphorylation of VHDL-R through protein kinase C for ligand binding. VHDL-R knockdown in larvae results the inhibition of development to adulthood. These data imply that 20E regulates VHDL-R on both transcriptional and posttranslational levels for VHDL absorption.