Hormones are chemical communication signaling molecules released into the body fluids to stimulate target cells of multicellular organisms. We recently showed that histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) plays an important role in juvenile hormone (JH) suppression of metamorphosis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Here, we investigated the function of another class I HDAC member, HDAC3, and show that it is required for the normal development of T. castaneum.


RNA interference-mediated knockdown of the HDAC3 gene affected development resulting in abnormally folded wings in pupae and adults. JH analog, hydroprene, suppressed the expression of HDAC3 in T. castaneum larvae. The knockdown of HDAC3 during the final instar larval stage resulted in an increase in the expression of genes coding for proteins involved in JH action. Sequencing of RNA isolated from larvae injected with dsRNA targeting malE (E. coli gene, control) or HDAC3 followed by differential gene expression analysis identified 148 and 741 differentially expressed genes based on the P-value < 0.01 and four-fold difference, and the P-value < 0.05 and two-fold difference, respectively. Several genes, including those coding for myosin-I heavy chain (Myosin 22), Shaven, and nuclear receptor corepressor 1 were identified as differentially expressed genes in HDAC3 knockdown larvae. An increase in histone H3 acetylation, specifically H3K9, H3K18, and H3K27, was detected in HDAC3 knockdown insects.


Overall, these data suggest that HDAC3 affects the acetylation levels of histones and influences the expression of genes coding for proteins involved in the regulation of growth, development, and metamorphosis.

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Published in BMC Genomics, v. 21, issue 1, article 420.

© The Author(s). 2020

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This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Health (GM070559–14) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture (HATCH project 2351177000).

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Short-read (Illumina HiSeq 4000) sequence data are available in the NCBI SRA (accession numbers PRJNA634129). BioSample metadata are available in the NCBI BioSample database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/biosample/) under accession number SAMN14984385, SAMN14984386, SAMN14984388, SAMN14984390).

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10. 1186/s12864-020-06840-3. It is also available as the additional files listed at the end of this record.

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