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4 Janelia Publications

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    Riddiford LabTruman Lab
    11/02/09 | Temporal patterns of broad isoform expression during the development of neuronal lineages in Drosophila.
    Zhou B, Williams DW, Altman J, Riddiford LM, Truman JW
    Neural Development. 2009 Nov 2;4:39. doi: 10.1186/1749-8104-4-39

    During the development of the central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila, neuronal stem cells, the neuroblasts (NBs), first generate a set of highly diverse neurons, the primary neurons that mature to control larval behavior, and then more homogeneous sets of neurons that show delayed maturation and are primarily used in the adult. These latter, ’secondary’ neurons show a complex pattern of expression of broad, which encodes a transcription factor usually associated with metamorphosis, where it acts as a key regulator in the transitions from larva and pupa.

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    Riddiford Lab
    10/01/09 | Comparative endocrinology in the 21st century.
    Denver RJ, Hopkins PM, McCormick SD, Propper CR, Riddiford L, Sower SA, Wingfield JC
    Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2009 Oct;49(4):339-48. doi: 10.1093/icb/icp082

    Hormones coordinate developmental, physiological, and behavioral processes within and between all living organisms. They orchestrate and shape organogenesis from early in development, regulate the acquisition, assimilation, and utilization of nutrients to support growth and metabolism, control gamete production and sexual behavior, mediate organismal responses to environmental change, and allow for communication of information between organisms. Genes that code for hormones; the enzymes that synthesize, metabolize, and transport hormones; and hormone receptors are important targets for natural selection, and variation in their expression and function is a major driving force for the evolution of morphology and life history. Hormones coordinate physiology and behavior of populations of organisms, and thus play key roles in determining the structure of populations, communities, and ecosystems. The field of endocrinology is concerned with the study of hormones and their actions. This field is rooted in the comparative study of hormones in diverse species, which has provided the foundation for the modern fields of evolutionary, environmental, and biomedical endocrinology. Comparative endocrinologists work at the cutting edge of the life sciences. They identify new hormones, hormone receptors and mechanisms of hormone action applicable to diverse species, including humans; study the impact of habitat destruction, pollution, and climatic change on populations of organisms; establish novel model systems for studying hormones and their functions; and develop new genetic strains and husbandry practices for efficient production of animal protein. While the model system approach has dominated biomedical research in recent years, and has provided extraordinary insight into many basic cellular and molecular processes, this approach is limited to investigating a small minority of organisms. Animals exhibit tremendous diversity in form and function, life-history strategies, and responses to the environment. A major challenge for life scientists in the 21st century is to understand how a changing environment impacts all life on earth. A full understanding of the capabilities of organisms to respond to environmental variation, and the resilience of organisms challenged by environmental changes and extremes, is necessary for understanding the impact of pollution and climatic change on the viability of populations. Comparative endocrinologists have a key role to play in these efforts.

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    Truman LabRiddiford Lab
    07/01/09 | The ecdysone receptor controls the post-critical weight switch to nutrition-independent differentiation in Drosophila wing imaginal discs.
    Mirth CK, Truman JW, Riddiford LM
    Development. 2009 Jul;136:2345-53. doi: 10.1242/dev.032672

    In holometabolous insects, a species-specific size, known as critical weight, needs to be reached for metamorphosis to be initiated in the absence of further nutritional input. Previously, we found that reaching critical weight depends on the insulin-dependent growth of the prothoracic glands (PGs) in Drosophila larvae. Because the PGs produce the molting hormone ecdysone, we hypothesized that ecdysone signaling switches the larva to a nutrition-independent mode of development post-critical weight. Wing discs from pre-critical weight larvae [5 hours after third instar ecdysis (AL3E)] fed on sucrose alone showed suppressed Wingless (WG), Cut (CT) and Senseless (SENS) expression. Post-critical weight, a sucrose-only diet no longer suppressed the expression of these proteins. Feeding larvae that exhibit enhanced insulin signaling in their PGs at 5 hours AL3E on sucrose alone produced wing discs with precocious WG, CT and SENS expression. In addition, knocking down the Ecdysone receptor (EcR) selectively in the discs also promoted premature WG, CUT and SENS expression in the wing discs of sucrose-fed pre-critical weight larvae. EcR is involved in gene activation when ecdysone is present, and gene repression in its absence. Thus, knocking down EcR derepresses genes that are normally repressed by unliganded EcR, thereby allowing wing patterning to progress. In addition, knocking down EcR in the wing discs caused precocious expression of the ecdysone-responsive gene broad. These results suggest that post-critical weight, EcR signaling switches wing discs to a nutrition-independent mode of development via derepression.

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    Riddiford Lab
    04/01/09 | The molecular mechanisms of cuticular melanization: the ecdysone cascade leading to dopa decarboxylase expression in Manduca sexta.
    Hiruma K, Riddiford LM
    Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2009 Apr;39(4):245-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2009.01.008

    Many insect developmental color changes are known to be regulated by both ecdysone and juvenile hormone. Yet the molecular mechanisms underlying this regulation have not been well understood. This review highlights the hormonal mechanisms involved in the regulation of two key enzymes [dopa decarboxylase (DDC) and phenoloxidase] necessary for insect cuticular melanization, and the molecular action of 20-hydroxyecdysone on various transcription factors leading to DDC expression at the end of a larval molt in Manduca sexta. In addition, the ecdysone cascade found in M. sexta is compared with that of other organisms.

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