The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 603 - 611 (2011)

Vol 55, Issue 6

Expression of the Scavenger Receptor Class B type I (SR-BI) family in Drosophila melanogaster

Developmental Expression Pattern | Published: 2 September 2011

Leire Herboso, Ana Talamillo*, Coralia Pérez and Rosa Barrio*

CIC bioGUNE, Bizkaia Technology Park, Derio, Spain


In mammals, cholesterol is transformed into steroid hormones in the adrenal gland, the ovaries or the testes. The Scavenger Receptors Class B Type I (SR-BI) are membrane proteins that belong to the CD36 family and participate in the selective uptake of high density lipoprotein cholesteryl ester in the mammalian steroidogenic tissues. Fourteen members of the CD36 family have been identified in Diptera, although their expression patterns remain uncharacterized. Using in situ hybridization we have characterized the expression patterns of the fourteen SR-BIs in Drosophila melanogaster. We analyzed three different developmental larval stages prior to and during the peak of the insect steroid hormone ecdysone, which triggers the larval to pupal transition. We focused on the steroidogenic tissues, such as the prothoracic gland, the ovaries and the testes, and extended our analysis to non-steroidogenic tissues, such as the fat body, salivary glands, the gut, the gastric caeca or the central nervous system. Our results show highly regulated expression patterns, with three genes crq, pes and Snmp being upregulated in steroidogenic tissues at the onset of pupariation when steroidogenesis is crucial. This study underlines the importance of the transport of cholesterol and steroids in the process of ecdysone synthesis.


Drosophila, scavenger receptor, CD36, ecdysone, steroidogenesis, expression pattern

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