Control of the insect metamorphic transition by ecdysteroid production and secretion

Xueyang Pan, Robert P. Connacher, Michael B. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ecdysteroids are a class of steroid hormones that controls molting and metamorphic transitions in Ecdysozoan species including insects, in which ecdysteroid biosynthesis and its regulation have been extensively studied. Insect ecdysteroids are produced from dietary sterols by a series of reduction-oxidation reactions in the prothoracic gland and in Drosophila they are released into the hemolymph via vesicle-mediated secretion at the time of metamorphosis. To initiate precisely controlled ecdysteroid pulses, the prothoracic gland functions as a central node integrating both intrinsic and extrinsic signals to control ecdysteroid biosynthesis and secretion. In this review, we outline recent progress in the characterization of ecdysone biosynthesis and steroid trafficking pathways and the discoveries of novel factors regulating prothoracic gland function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
StatePublished - Feb 2021

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

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