IBE: Key protein in insect metamorphosis identified

IBE: Key protein in insect metamorphosis identified

News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)

The group led by CSIC Research Professor Xavier Bellés at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) has published a new study in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta that contributes to the understanding of how insects undergo metamorphosis.

The study focuses on the hormonal regulation of the early stages of this biological process by which an insect physically develops from the juvenile to the adult form. The article by the Bellés' group shows that, in cockroaches (Blatella germanica), metamorphosis is regulated by a CBP, a protein that activates gene transcription. Accordingly, scientists have found that CBP controls Kr-h1 expression, a gene that has previously been associated with metamorphosis.

In addition, researchers have found that CBP also contributes to regulate feeding and moulting in Blatella germanica. “These findings are important because the understanding of metamorphosis is key to the understanding of insect biology and ecology," suggests Ana Fernández-Nicolás, IBE PhD student and first author of the paper.

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Reference article:
Fernández-Nicolás A, and Bellés X (2015). CREB-binding protein contributes to the regulation of endocrine and developmental pathways in insect hemimetabolan pre-metamorphosis. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta