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The molecular action of juvenile hormone (JH), a regulator of vital importance to insects, was until recently regarded as a mystery. The past few years have seen an explosion of studies of JH signaling, sparked by a finding that a JH-resistance gene, Methoprene-tolerant (Met), plays a critical role in insect metamorphosis. Here, we summarize the recently acquired knowledge on the capacity of Met to bind JH, which has been mapped to a particular ligand-binding domain, thus establishing this bHLH-PAS protein as a novel type of an intracellular hormone receptor. Next, we consider the significance of JH-dependent interactions of Met with other transcription factors and signaling pathways. We examine the regulation and biological roles of genes acting downstream of JH and Met in insect metamorphosis. Finally, we discuss the current gaps in our understanding of JH action and outline directions for future research.


Marek Jindra, Subba R Palli, Lynn M Riddiford. The juvenile hormone signaling pathway in insect development. Annual review of entomology. 2013;58:181-204

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PMID: 22994547

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