Mei-Juan Cai

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The insect steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) regulates gene transcription via a genomic pathway by forming a transcription complex that binds to DNA with the help of the chaperone proteins, heat shock proteins (Hsps) Hsc70 and Hsp90. However, the nongenomic mechanisms by which 20E regulates gene expression remain unclear. In this study, we found that(More)
The insect midgut undergoes programmed cell death (PCD) during metamorphosis, but the molecular basis for this phenomenon has not been demonstrated. We report a mod(mdg4) protein [designated as mod(mdg4)1A] that is involved in hormonally regulated insect midgut PCD, from the lepidopteran Helicoverpa armigera. Mod(mdg4)1A is localized in the larval midgut(More)
BACKGROUND Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) interacts with steroid hormone receptors, signaling kinases, and various transcription factors. However, the mechanism by which Hsp90 interacts with different proteins in various pathways remains unclear. METHODS Western blot was used to study Hsp90 expression profile in Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera). RNA(More)
In addition to the classical nuclear receptor pathway, there is a nongenomic pathway in the cell membrane that regulates gene expression in animal steroid hormone signaling; however, this mechanism is unclear. Here, we report that the insect steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) regulates calcium influx via phospholipase Cγ1 (PLCG1) to modulate the(More)
The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) initiates insect molting and metamorphosis. By contrast, juvenile hormone (JH) prevents metamorphosis. However, the mechanism by which JH inhibits metamorphosis remains unclear. In this study, we propose that JH induces the phosphorylation of Broad isoform Z7 (BrZ7), a newly identified protein, to inhibit(More)
Insulin inhibits transcription factor Forkhead box O (FoxO) activity, and the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) activates FoxO; however, the mechanism is unclear. We hypothesized that 20E upregulates phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate 3-phosphatase (PTEN) expression to activate FoxO, thereby promoting proteolysis during molting in the(More)
Animal steroid hormones are conventionally known to initiate signaling via a genomic pathway by binding to the nuclear receptors. The mechanism by which 20E initiates signaling via a nongenomic pathway is unclear. We illustrate that 20E triggered the nongenomic pathway through a plasma membrane G-protein-coupled receptor (named ErGPCR) in the lepidopteran(More)
The insulin and 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) pathways coordinately regulate insect growth and metamorphosis. However, the molecular mechanism of the interaction of these two pathways in regulating insect development is not well understood. In the present study, we found that a small GTPase Rab4b from a lepidopteran insect Helicoverpa armigera participates in(More)
The nuclear receptor-mediated genomic pathways of the animal steroid hormones are well known. However, the cell membrane receptor-mediated nongenomic pathways of the animal steroid hormones are little understood. In this study, we report the participation of a G-protein alpha q (Gαq)(1) subunit in the 20E nongenomic pathway in the cell membrane and(More)
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in animal steroid hormone signaling, but their mechanism is unclear. In this research, we report that a GPCR called ErGPCR-2 controls steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signaling in the cell membrane of the lepidopteran insect Helicoverpa armigera. ErGPCR-2 was highly expressed during molting and(More)