Juvenile hormone acid O-methyltransferase in Drosophila melanogaster
Juvenile hormone (JH) acid O-methyltransferase (JHAMT) is the enzyme that transfers a methyl group from S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) to the carboxyl group of JH acids to produce active JHs in the corpora allata. While the JHAMT gene was originally identified and characterized in the silkworm Bombyx mori, no orthologs from other insects have been studied until now. Here we report on the functional characterization of the CG17330/DmJHAMT gene in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Recombinant DmJHAMT protein expressed in Escherichia coli catalyzes the conversion of farnesoic acid and JH III acid to their cognate methyl esters in the presence of SAM. DmJHAMT is predominantly expressed in corpora allata, and its developmental expression profile correlates with changes in the JH titer. While a transgenic RNA interference against DmJHAMT has no visible effect, overexpression of DmJHAMT results in a pharate adult lethal phenotype, similar to that obtained with application of JH analogs, suggesting that the temporal regulation of DmJHAMT is critical for Drosophila development.
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