Impacts of molt-inhibiting organochlorine compounds on epidermal ecdysteroid signaling in the fiddler crab, Uca pugilator, in vitro.
Several environmentally persistent chemicals have been found to be capable of disrupting crustacean molting. Considering the importance of molting in the life of crustaceans, there is a need to develop a molecular biomarker that can reflect the disrupting effects of contaminants on ecdysteroid signaling in crustaceans. N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase (NAG) is a chitinolytic enzyme found in crustacean epidermis. The results of the present investigation show that the transcription of NAG gene in the epidermis of the fiddler crab, Uca pugilator, is inducible by the molting hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone, which validates the use of NAG mRNA as a biomarker for molt-disrupting effects of xenobiotics.