Insect biochemistry and molecular biology

Functions of nuclear receptor HR3 during larval-pupal molting in Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) revealed by in vivo RNA interference.

PMID 26005119


Our previous results revealed that RNA interference-aided knockdown of Leptinotarsa decemlineata FTZ-F1 (LdFTZ-F1) reduced 20E titer, and impaired pupation. In this study, we characterized a putative LdHR3 gene, an early-late 20E-response gene upstream of LdFTZ-F1. Within the first, second and third larval instars, three expression peaks of LdHR3 occurred just before the molt. In the fourth (final) larval instar 80 h after ecdysis and prepupal stage 3 days after burying into soil, two LdHR3 peaks occurred. The LdHR3 expression peaks coincide with the peaks of circulating 20E level. In vitro midgut culture and in vivo bioassay revealed that 20E and an ecdysteroid agonist halofenozide (Hal) enhanced LdHR3 expression in the final larval instars. Conversely, a decrease in 20E by feeding a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) against an ecdysteroidogenesis gene Ldshd repressed the expression. Moreover, Hal rescued the transcript levels in the Ldshd-silenced larvae. Thus, 20E peaks activate the expression of LdHR3. Furthermore, ingesting dsRNA against LdHR3 successfully knocked down the target gene, and impaired pupation. Finally, knockdown of LdHR3 upregulated the transcription of three ecdysteroidogenesis genes (Ldphm, Lddib and Ldshd), increased 20E titer, and activated the expression of two 20E-response genes (LdEcR and LdFTZ-F1). Thus, LdHR3 functions in regulation of pupation in the Colorado potato beetle.