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    The body form of holometabolous insects dramatically transforms from larval to adult stages during metamorphosis that occurs in the pupal stage. The larval disorganization and then new adult tissues are built up at this time. In motoneuron, larval neuronal cells degenerate, and new adult neurons are remodeled. Finally, adult neurons reconnect to new adult muscles. However, the factors that control metamorphosis have not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we show that an antioxidant enzyme, Tribolium castaneum superoxide dismutase 6 (TcSOD6), is secreted into the haemolymph and is required for proper movable legs during metamorphosis. TcSOD6 has a unique domain architecture and is mainly expressed in the pupal stage. The depletion of TcSOD6 expression in the pupa inhibits normal axon development and results in adults that display dysfunctional leg motions, suggesting that SOD6 expression is required for the development of properly movable legs. Therefore, we speculate that TcSOD6 might participate in some of the processes for larval neurons to be remodelled to new adult functions in the legs during metamorphosis, providing new insight into the evolution of SOD functions. © 2022. The Author(s).


    Maaya Nishiko, Takuma Sakamoto, Seulgi Mun, Mi Young Noh, Yasuyuki Arakane, Michael R Kanost, Katsuhiko Arai, Hiroko Tabunoki. Superoxide dismutase 6 is required during metamorphosis for the development of properly movable legs in Tribolium castaneum. Scientific reports. 2022 Apr 27;12(1):6900

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    PMID: 35477951

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