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Gene Review

Vg  -  vitellogenin

Apis mellifera

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Disease relevance of Vg

  • Despite extensive screening of a phage library prepared from E. pergandiella genomic DNA, a Vg gene was not detected in this species [1].
  • The show that the expression of vitellogenin and transferrin is correlated with ovary activation in workers, and may therefore be part of the gene network involved in the regulatory control of functional sterility in honeybees [2].

Psychiatry related information on Vg

  • This role of vitellogenin in the tuning of the endocrine system is uncommon and may elucidate how an ancestral pathway of fertility regulation has been remodeled into a novel circuit controlling social behavior [3].
  • Honeybee workers are functionally sterile, and via the expression of juvenile hormone, a key gonotrophic hormone in adult insects, their vitellogenin levels are influenced by social interactions with other bees [4].

High impact information on Vg


Biological context of Vg

  • Vitellogenin mRNA was also observed in drones, although it was first detected not in pupae but in freshly molted adults [8].
  • The deduced amino acid sequence of the E. formosa Vg gene most closely resembles that of the ichneumonid parasitoid, Pimpla nipponica (38% identity) [1].
  • The position of two introns in the hymenopteran sequences are shared with every full-length insect Vg gene characterized to date [1].
  • Southern analysis indicates that the Vg gene is present as a single copy in the honeybee genome [9].
  • In addition, larvae of both sexes produce Vg in significant amounts, which suggest that Vg serves for functions additional to oocyte growth and energy supply to the embryo [9].

Anatomical context of Vg

  • This recovery, which is triggered by a social manipulation, is accompanied by a drop in the endogenous JH titer and an increase in the hemolymph vitellogenin level [10].
  • We suggest that the transition is under regulatory control by an internal and an external repressor of the allatoregulatory central nervous system, where these two repressors modulate a positive regulatory feedback loop involving juvenile hormone (JH) and the lipoprotein vitellogenin [11].
  • Vitellogenin, an egg yolk precursor, and transferrin, an iron transporter, were two transcripts found to be significantly down-regulated as a function of the ovary-inhibiting treatment [2].

Associations of Vg with chemical compounds


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Vg


  1. Vitellogenin of the parasitoid wasp, Encarsia formosa (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae): gene organization and differential use by members of the genus. Donnell, D.M. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Effects of carbon dioxide narcosis on ovary activation and gene expression in worker honeybees, Apis mellifera. Koywiwattrakul, P., Thompson, G.J., Sitthipraneed, S., Oldroyd, B.P., Maleszka, R. J. Insect Sci. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Vitellogenin regulates hormonal dynamics in the worker caste of a eusocial insect. Guidugli, K.R., Nascimento, A.M., Amdam, G.V., Barchuk, A.R., Omholt, S., Simões, Z.L., Hartfelder, K. FEBS Lett. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Hormonal control of the yolk precursor vitellogenin regulates immune function and longevity in honeybees. Amdam, G.V., Simões, Z.L., Hagen, A., Norberg, K., Schrøder, K., Mikkelsen, Ø., Kirkwood, T.B., Omholt, S.W. Exp. Gerontol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. Reproductive protein protects functionally sterile honey bee workers from oxidative stress. Seehuus, S.C., Norberg, K., Gimsa, U., Krekling, T., Amdam, G.V. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2006) [Pubmed]
  6. Social exploitation of vitellogenin. Amdam, G.V., Norberg, K., Hagen, A., Omholt, S.W. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
  7. Downregulation of vitellogenin gene activity increases the gustatory responsiveness of honey bee workers (Apis mellifera). Amdam, G.V., Norberg, K., Page, R.E., Erber, J., Scheiner, R. Behav. Brain Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. The vitellogenin of the honey bee, Apis mellifera: structural analysis of the cDNA and expression studies. Piulachs, M.D., Guidugli, K.R., Barchuk, A.R., Cruz, J., Simões, Z.L., Bellés, X. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Vitellogenin expression in queen ovaries and in larvae of both sexes of Apis mellifera. Guidugli, K.R., Piulachs, M.D., Bellés, X., Lourenço, A.P., Simões, Z.L. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. Social reversal of immunosenescence in honey bee workers. Amdam, G.V., Aase, A.L., Seehuus, S.C., Kim Fondrk, M., Norberg, K., Hartfelder, K. Exp. Gerontol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. The hive bee to forager transition in honeybee colonies: the double repressor hypothesis. Amdam, G.V., Omholt, S.W. J. Theor. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  12. Purification and characterization of honey bee vitellogenin. Wheeler, D.E., Kawooya, J.K. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  13. Proteolytic processing of the vitellogenin precursor in the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis. Heilmann, L.J., Trewitt, P.M., Kumaran, A.K. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  14. Effects of juvenile hormone and ecdysone on the timing of vitellogenin appearance in hemolymph of queen and worker pupae of Apis mellifera. Barchuk, A.R., Bitondi, M.M., Simões, Z.L. J. Insect Sci. (2002) [Pubmed]
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