Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Rapid divergence of the ecdysone receptor in Diptera and Lepidoptera suggests coevolution between ECR and USP-RXR.

Abstract : Ecdysteroid hormones are major regulators in reproduction and development of insects, including larval molts and metamorphosis. The functional ecdysone receptor is a heterodimer of ECR (NR1H1) and USP-RXR (NR2B4), which is the orthologue of vertebrate retinoid X receptors (RXR alpha, beta, gamma). Both proteins belong to the superfamily of nuclear hormone receptors, ligand-dependent transcription factors that share two conserved domains: the DNA-binding domain (DBD) and the ligand-binding domain (LBD). In order to gain further insight into the evolution of metamorphosis and gene regulation by ecdysone in arthropods, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of both partners of the heterodimer ECR/USP-RXR. Overall, 38 USP-RXR and 19 ECR protein sequences, from 33 species, have been used for this analysis. Interestingly, sequence alignments and structural comparisons reveal high divergence rates, for both ECR and USP-RXR, specifically among Diptera and Lepidoptera. The most impressive differences affect the ligand-binding domain of USP-RXR. In addition, ECR sequences show variability in other domains, namely the DNA-binding and the carboxy-terminal F domains. Our data provide the first evidence that ECR and USP-RXR may have coevolved during holometabolous insect diversification, leading to a functional divergence of the ecdysone receptor. These results have general implications on fundamental aspects of insect development, evolution of nuclear receptors, and the design of specific insecticides.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [53 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : François Bonneton Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 4:15:23 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 11:08:04 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, September 28, 2012 - 3:30:21 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive




François Bonneton, Dominique Zelus, Thomas Iwema, Marc Robinson-Rechavi, Vincent Laudet. Rapid divergence of the ecdysone receptor in Diptera and Lepidoptera suggests coevolution between ECR and USP-RXR.. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2003, 20 (4), pp.541-553. ⟨ensl-00285059⟩



Record views


Files downloads