Insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) has been well studied for its role in the control of life span extension and resistance to a variety of stresses. The Drosophila melanogaster insulin-like receptor (InR) mutant showed extended life span due to reduced juvenile hormone (JH) levels. However, little is known about the mechanism of cross talk between IIS and JH in regulation of life span extension and resistance to starvation. In the current study, we investigated the role of IIS and JH signaling in regulation of resistance to starvation. Reduction in JH biosynthesis, JH action, or insulin-like peptide 2 (ILP2) syntheses by RNA interference (RNAi)-aided knockdown in the expression of genes coding for juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase (JHAMT), methoprene-tolerant (Met), or ILP2 respectively decreased lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and extended the survival of starved beetles. Interestingly, the extension of life span could be restored by injection of bovine insulin into JHAMT RNAi beetles but not by application of JH III to ILP2 RNAi beetles. These data suggest that JH controls starvation resistance by regulating synthesis of ILP2. More importantly, JH regulates trehalose homeostasis, including trehalose transport and metabolism, and controls utilization of stored nutrients in starved adults.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in PLoS Genetics, v. 9, no. 6, e1003535.

© 2013 Xu et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Juvenile Hormone and Insulin Regulate.zip (634 kB)
Supporting documents

Included in

Entomology Commons