A role for Taiman in insect metamorphosis

Jesus Lozano, Takumi Kayukawa, Tetsuro Shinoda, Xavier Belles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies in vitro have reported that the Methoprene-tolerant (Met) and Taiman (Tai) complex is the functional receptor of juvenile hormone (JH). Experiments in vivo of Met depletion have confirmed this factor's role in JH signal transduction, however, there is no equivalent data regarding Tai because its depletion in larval or nymphal stages of the beetle Tribolium castaneum and the bug Pyrrhocoris apterus results in 100% mortality. We have discovered that the cockroach Blattella germanica possesses four Tai isoforms resulting from the combination of two indels in the C-terminal region of the sequence. The presence of one equivalent indel-1 in Tai sequences in T. castaneum and other species suggests that Tai isoforms may be common in insects. Concomitant depletion of all four Tai isoforms in B. germanica resulted in 100% mortality, but when only the insertion 1 (IN-1) isoforms were depleted, mortality was significantly reduced and about half of the specimens experienced precocious adult development. This shows that Tai isoforms containing IN-1 are involved in transducing the JH signal that represses metamorphosis. Reporter assays indicated that both T. castaneum Tai isoforms, one that contains the IN-1 and another that does not (DEL-1) activated a JH response element (kJHRE) in Krüppel homolog 1 in conjunction with Met and JH. The results indicate that Tai is involved in the molecular mechanisms that repress metamorphosis, at least in B. germanica, and highlight the importance of distinguishing Tai isoforms when studying the functions of this transcription factor in development and other processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1004769
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2014


  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Blattellidae
  • Cell Line
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Juvenile Hormones
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Larva
  • Metamorphosis, Biological
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tribolium


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