The insulin/TOR signal transduction pathway is involved in the nutritional regulation of juvenile hormone synthesis in Aedes aegypti

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Jun;43(6):495-500. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.03.008. Epub 2013 Mar 26.


Juvenile hormone (JH) levels must be modulated to permit the normal progress of development and reproductive maturation in mosquitoes. JH is part of a transduction system that assesses nutritional information and controls reproduction in mosquitoes. Adult female Aedes aegypti show nutritionally-dependent dynamic changes in corpora allata (CA) JH biosynthetic activities. A coordinated expression of most JH biosynthetic enzymes has been described in female pupae and adult mosquitoes; increases or decreases in transcript levels for all the enzymes were concurrent with increases or decreases in JH synthesis; suggesting that transcriptional changes are at least partially responsible for the dynamic changes of JH biosynthesis. The goal of the present study is to identify signaling network components responsible for the nutritional-dependent changes of JH synthesis in the CA of mosquitoes. The insulin/TOR signaling network plays a central role in the transduction of nutritional signals that regulate cell growth and metabolism in insects. These pathways have also been suggested as a link between nutritional signals and JH synthesis regulation in the CA of cockroaches and flies. We used a combination of in vitro studies and in vivo genetic knockdown experiments to explore nutritional signaling pathways in the CA. Our results suggest that the insulin/TOR pathway plays a role in the transduction of the nutritional information that regulates JH synthesis in mosquitoes. Transcriptional regulation of the genes encoding JH biosynthetic enzymes is at least partially responsible for these nutritionally modulated changes of JH biosynthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / genetics
  • Aedes / growth & development*
  • Aedes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Corpora Allata / growth & development
  • Corpora Allata / metabolism
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Juvenile Hormones / biosynthesis*
  • Juvenile Hormones / genetics
  • Juvenile Hormones / metabolism
  • Reproduction / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Insulin
  • Juvenile Hormones
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases