Juvenile hormone regulates body size and perturbs insulin signaling in Drosophila.
The role of juvenile hormone (JH) in regulating the timing and nature of insect molts is well-established. Increasing evidence suggests that JH is also involved in regulating final insect size. Here we elucidate the developmental mechanism through which JH regulates body size in developing Drosophila larvae by genetically ablating the JH-producing organ, the corpora allata (CA). We found that larvae that lack CA pupariated at smaller sizes than control larvae due to a reduced larval growth rate. Neither the timing of the metamorphic molt nor the duration of larval growth was affected by the loss of JH. Further, we show that the effects of JH on growth rate are dependent on the forkhead box O transcription factor (FOXO), which is negatively regulated by the insulin-signaling pathway. Larvae that lacked the CA had elevated levels of FOXO activity, whereas a loss-of-function mutation of FOXO rescued the effects of CA ablation on final body size. Finally, the effect of JH on growth appears to be mediated, at least in part, via ecdysone synthesis in the prothoracic gland. These results indicate a role of JH in regulating growth rate via the ecdysone- and insulin-signaling pathways.
Mirth, CK; Tang, HY; Makohon-Moore, SC; Salhadar, S; Gokhale, RH; Warner, RD; Koyama, T; Riddiford, LM; Shingleton, AW
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