Previous studies suggested that a membrane receptor might be involved in mediating vitellogenin (Vg) uptake and juvenile hormone (JH)-regulated remodeling of follicular epithelium (also called ‘patency’). G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family is one of the largest membrane receptor protein families and controls many key physiological processes. To investigate the role of GPCRs in insect reproduction and juvenile hormone-regulated Vg uptake, we performed a comprehensive RNA interference (RNAi) screen targeting GPCRs in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Out of 112 GPCRs tested, knockdown of 41 GPCRs resulted in a reduction in fecundity. Interestingly, RNAi against two GPCRs (a Rhodopsin-like receptor and a Dopamine D2-like receptor) led to a significant reduction in Vg accumulation in developing oocytes. Functional assays of these two GPCRs showed that JH triggers a dose-dependent inhibition of intracellular cAMP levels in HEK293 cells expressing Tribolium Dopamine D2-like receptor. These data suggest that Dopamine D2-like receptor plays crucial roles in regulating Vg uptake and is a promising candidate membrane receptor mediating JH regulation of patency in the red flour beetle.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 6, article no. 27648, p. 1-10.

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This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant (GM070559-10) to SRP. This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, HATCH under 2351177000.

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This is publication number 16-08-057 from the Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station and published with the approval of the director.

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Supplementary Information: Table S1-S2

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