Ecdysteroid biosynthesis in workers of the European honeybee Apis mellifera L.

Yurika Yamazaki, Makoto Kiuchi, Hideaki Takeuchi, Takeo Kubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We previously reported preferential expression of genes for ecdysteroid signaling in the mushroom bodies of honeybee workers, suggesting a role of ecdysteroid signaling in regulating honeybee behaviors. The organs that produce ecdysteroids in worker honeybees, however, remain unknown. We show here that the expression of neverland and Non- molting glossy/ shroud, which are involved in early steps of ecdysteroid synthesis, was enhanced in the ovary, while the expression of CYP306A1 and CYP302A1, which are involved in later steps of ecdysone synthesis, was enhanced in the brain, and the expression of CYP314A1, which is involved in converting ecdysone into active 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), was enhanced in the brain, fat body, and ovary. In in vitro organ culture, a significant amount of ecdysteroids was detected in the culture medium of the brain, fat body, and hypopharyngeal glands. The ecdysteroids detected in the culture medium of the fat body were identified as ecdysone and 20E. These findings suggest that, in worker honeybees, cholesterol is converted into intermediate ecdysteroids in the ovary, whereas ecdysone is synthesized and secreted mainly by the brain and converted into 20E in the brain and fat body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-293
Number of pages11
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ecdysteroid
  • Honeybee
  • Hormone production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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