Stage-specific regulation of juvenile hormone biosynthesis by ecdysteroid in Bombyx mori

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Mar 30;335(2):204-10. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.01.012. Epub 2011 Jan 20.


In the penultimate (4th) instar larvae of Bombyx mori, juvenile hormone (JH) synthesis by corpora allata (CA) fluctuates. When diet containing 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) was fed, JH synthetic activity of the CA was first stimulated as the ecdysteroid titer increased, then suppressed slightly by the higher molting concentration of ecdysteroids (>250 ng/ml). The overall JH biosynthetic activity was modulated by the expression of JH biosynthetic enzymes in the CA: primarily JH acid O-methyltransferase (JHAMT), isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase, and farnesyl diphosphate synthase 1. After the last (5th) larval ecdysis, the artificially increased high ecdysteroid level due to the 20E diet activated JH synthesis by the CA, which required intact nervous connections with the brain. A factor(s) from the 20E-activated brain controls mainly JHAMT and HMG Co-A reductase expression to stimulate the JH synthesis. In the normal last instar larvae, the ecdysteroid titer declines so that these activation mechanisms are absent; therefore the decline of the ecdysteroid titer after the final larval ecdysis is one of the factors which induces the cessation of the JH synthesis by CA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bombyx / drug effects
  • Bombyx / enzymology
  • Bombyx / growth & development*
  • Corpora Allata / metabolism
  • Ecdysterone / pharmacology*
  • Ecdysterone / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Hemolymph / chemistry
  • Juvenile Hormones / biosynthesis*
  • Larva / enzymology
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Molting / drug effects
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Juvenile Hormones
  • Ecdysterone