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Imura, E., Shimada-Niwa, Y., Nishimura, T., Hückesfeld, S., Schlegel, P., Ohhara, Y., Kondo, S., Tanimoto, H., Cardona, A., Pankratz, M.J., Niwa, R. (2020). The Corazonin-PTTH Neuronal Axis Controls Systemic Body Growth by Regulating Basal Ecdysteroid Biosynthesis in Drosophila melanogaster.  Curr. Biol. 30(11): 2156--2165.e5.
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FBrf0245906
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Steroid hormones play key roles in development, growth, and reproduction in various animal phyla 1. The insect steroid hormone, ecdysteroid, coordinates growth and maturation, represented by molting and metamorphosis 2. In Drosophila melanogaster, the prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH)-producing neurons stimulate peak levels of ecdysteroid biosynthesis for maturation 3. Additionally, recent studies on PTTH signaling indicated that basal levels of ecdysteroid negatively affect systemic growth prior to maturation 4-8. However, it remains unclear how PTTH signaling is regulated for basal ecdysteroid biosynthesis. Here, we report that Corazonin (Crz)-producing neurons regulate basal ecdysteroid biosynthesis by affecting PTTH neurons. Crz belongs to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) superfamily, implying an analogous role in growth and maturation 9. Inhibition of Crz neuronal activity increased pupal size, whereas it hardly affected pupariation timing. This phenotype resulted from enhanced growth rate and a delay in ecdysteroid elevation during the mid-third instar larval (L3) stage. Interestingly, Crz receptor (CrzR) expression in PTTH neurons was higher during the mid- than the late-L3 stage. Silencing of CrzR in PTTH neurons increased pupal size, phenocopying the inhibition of Crz neuronal activity. When Crz neurons were optogenetically activated, a strong calcium response was observed in PTTH neurons during the mid-L3, but not the late-L3, stage. Furthermore, we found that octopamine neurons contact Crz neurons in the subesophageal zone (SEZ), transmitting signals for systemic growth. Together, our results suggest that the Crz-PTTH neuronal axis modulates ecdysteroid biosynthesis in response to octopamine, uncovering a regulatory neuroendocrine system in the developmental transition from growth to maturation.

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    Language of Publication
    English
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    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Curr. Biol.
    Title
    Current Biology
    Publication Year
    1991-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0960-9822
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