Cyp6g2 is the major P450 epoxidase responsible for juvenile hormone biosynthesis in Drosophila melanogaster

Qiangqiang Jia, Liu Yang, Jiamin Wen, Suning Liu, Di Wen, Wei Luo, Weihua Wang, Subba Reddy Palli, Li Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Juvenile hormones (JH) play crucial role in regulating development and reproduction in insects. The most common form of JH is JH III, derived from MF through epoxidation by CYP15 enzymes. However, in the higher dipterans, such as the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, a bis-epoxide form of JHB3, accounted most of the JH detected. Moreover, these higher dipterans have lost the CYP15 gene from their genomes. As a result, the identity of the P450 epoxidase in the JH biosynthesis pathway in higher dipterans remains unknown. Results: In this study, we show that Cyp6g2 serves as the major JH epoxidase responsible for the biosynthesis of JHB3 and JH III in D. melanogaster. The Cyp6g2 is predominantly expressed in the corpus allatum (CA), concurring with the expression pattern of jhamt, another well-studied gene that is crucial in the last steps of JH biosynthesis. Mutation in Cyp6g2 leads to severe disruptions in larval-pupal metamorphosis and exhibits reproductive deficiencies, exceeding those seen in jhamt mutants. Notably, Cyp6g2−/−::jhamt2 double mutants all died at the pupal stage but could be rescued through the topical application of JH analogs. JH titer analyses revealed that both Cyp6g2−/− mutant and jhamt2 mutant lacking JHB3 and JH III, while overexpression of Cyp6g2 or jhamt caused a significant increase in JHB3 and JH III titer. Conclusions: These findings collectively established that Cyp6g2 as the major JH epoxidase in the higher dipterans and laid the groundwork for the further understanding of JH biosynthesis. Moreover, these findings pave the way for developing specific Cyp6g2 inhibitors as insect growth regulators or insecticides.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalBMC Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • CYP15
  • Cyp6g2
  • Epoxidase
  • Farnesoic acid (FA)
  • Juvenile hormone (JH)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Plant Science
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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