Insulin/IGF signaling and TORC1 promote vitellogenesis via inducing juvenile hormone biosynthesis in the American cockroach

Shiming Zhu, Fangfang Liu, Huanchao Zeng, Na Li, Chonghua Ren, Yunlin Su, Shutang Zhou, Guirong Wang, Subba Reddy Palli, Jian Wang, Yiru Qin, Sheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Vitellogenesis, including vitellogenin (Vg) production in the fat body and Vg uptake by maturing oocytes, is of great importance for the successful reproduction of adult females. The endocrinal and nutritional regulation of vitellogenesis differs distinctly in insects. Here, the complex crosstalk between juvenile hormone (JH) and the two nutrient sensors insulin/IGF signaling (IIS) and target of rapamycin complex1 (TORC1), was investigated to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of vitellogenesis regulation in the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Our data showed that a block of JH biosynthesis or JH action arrested vitellogenesis, in part by inhibiting the expression of doublesex (Dsx), a key transcription factor gene involved in the sex determination cascade. Depletion of IIS or TORC1 blocked both JH biosynthesis and vitellogenesis. Importantly, the JH analog methoprene, but not bovine insulin (to restore IIS) and amino acids (to restore TORC1 activity), restored vitellogenesis in the neck-ligated (IIS-, TORC1- and JH-deficient) and rapamycin-treated (TORC1- and JH-deficient) cockroaches. Combining classic physiology with modern molecular techniques, we have demonstrated that IIS and TORC1 promote vitellogenesis, mainly via inducing JH biosynthesis in the American cockroach.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdev188805
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31930014, 31620103917, 31900355, 31801968, 31702055 and 31970459 to N.L., C.R., J.W., Y.Q. and S.L.); the Department of Science and Technology in Guangdong Province (2019B090905003 and 2019A0102006 to S.L); and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Program (20180411143628272 to S.L. and G.W.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd


  • Dsx
  • IIS
  • Juvenile hormone
  • TORC1
  • Vitellogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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