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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Corazonin receptor signaling in ecdysis initiation.

Corazonin is a highly conserved neuropeptide hormone of wide-spread occurrence in insects yet is associated with no universally recognized function. After discovery of the corazonin receptor in Drosophila, we identified its ortholog in the moth, Manduca sexta, as a prelude to physiological studies. The corazonin receptor cDNA in M. sexta encodes a protein of 436 amino acids with seven putative transmembrane domains and shares common ancestry with its Drosophila counterpart. The receptor exhibits high sensitivity and selectivity for corazonin when expressed in Xenopus oocytes (EC(50) approximately 200 pM) or Chinese hamster ovary cells (EC(50) approximately 75 pM). Northern blot analysis locates the receptor in peripheral endocrine Inka cells, the source of preecdysis- and ecdysis-triggering hormones. Injection of corazonin into pharate larvae elicits release of these peptides from Inka cells, which induce precocious preecdysis and ecdysis behaviors. In vitro exposure of isolated Inka cells to corazonin (25-100 pM) induces preecdysis- and ecdysis-triggering hormone secretion. Using corazonin receptor as a biosensor, we show that corazonin concentrations in the hemolymph 20 min before natural preecdysis onset range from 20 to 80 pM and then decline over the next 30-40 min. These findings support the role of corazonin signaling in initiation of the ecdysis behavioral sequence. We propose a model for peptide-mediated interactions between Inka cells and the CNS underlying this process in insect development.[1]


  1. Corazonin receptor signaling in ecdysis initiation. Kim, Y.J., Spalovská-Valachová, I., Cho, K.H., Zitnanova, I., Park, Y., Adams, M.E., Zitnan, D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
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