Basis for selective action of a synthetic molting hormone agonist, RH- 5992 on lepidopteran insects

M. Sundaram, S. R. Palli, P. J. Krell, S. S. Sohi, T. S. Dhadialla, A. Retnakaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The non-steroidal ecdysone agonist, RH-5992, induces a precocious incomplete molt in lepidopteran insects but is refractory to insects of other orders. We used two lepidopteran cell lines, FPMI-CF-203 (CF-203) and IPRI- MD-66 (MD-66) and two dipteran cell lines, DM-2 and K(c), to investigate the lepidopteran specificity of RH-5992. The mRNAs for hormone receptor 3 homologues cloned from Drosophila (DHR3) and Choristoneura (CHR3) are directly induced by 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E)and serve as suitable markers for studying ecdysone action. Dose response experiments showed that 10-7 M 20E induced CHR3 mRNA in CF-203 cells and DHR3 mRNA in DM-2 cells. Concentrations of RH-5992 as low as 10-10 M induced CHR3 mRNA in CF-203 cells, whereas concentrations as high as 10-0 M induced only very low levels of DHR3 mRNA in DM-2 cells. Studies using 14C- RH-5992 revealed that lepidopteran cell lines (CF-203 and MD-66) retained more of this compound within the cells than the dipteran cell lines (DM2 and K(c)). The clearance of RH-5992 from DM-2 cells was temperature dependent and was blocked by 10-5 M ouabain, an inhibitor of Na+, K+-ATPase suggesting that the efflux was due to active transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-704
Number of pages12
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a Canadian Forest Service/Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Research partnership program award CRD# 0192158, with Rohm and Haas Company. We thank Drs. M. Koelle and D. Hogness of Stanford University for the gift of Drosophila DHR3 cDNA clone.


  • 20-hydroxyecdysone
  • Choristoneura hormone receptor 3 (CHR3)
  • Drosophila hormone receptor 3 (DHR3)
  • Efflux
  • Influx
  • Ouabain
  • RH-5992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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