Does corazonin signal nutritional stress in insects?

Jan A. Veenstra
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2009-11-01; 39(11): 755-762
DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2009.09.008

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1. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2009 Nov;39(11):755-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2009.09.008.
Epub 2009 Oct 6.

Does corazonin signal nutritional stress in insects?

Veenstra JA(1).

Author information:
(1)Université de Bordeaux, CNIC UMR 5228 CNRS, Talence, France.

The undecapeptide corazonin, initially discovered from the American cockroach as
a strong cardioaccelerator, is now known to be ubiquitously present in
arthropods, although it is absent from some species, notably Coleoptera. The
structure of its precursor is similar to the GnRH precursor, while it acts
through a receptor related to the GnRH receptor; corazonin thus appears to be an
arthropod homolog of GnRH. It is produced by neuroendocrine cells in the brain,
as well as interneurons in the ventral nerve cord. These two cell types are
generally present in insects; in most species there are also other neurons
producing corazonin. Its function in insects has remained obscure; its
cardioacceleratory effects are limited to a few cockroach species, while in other
species different physiological effects have been described. Most spectacularly
it induces changes associated with the gregarious phase in migratory locusts and
in the silkworm it reduces the size of the cocoon formed. Corazonin is able to
induce ecdysis in two moth species, however locusts and flies in which the
corazonin gene is no longer expressed, ecdyse normally and, hence, it is not
clear whether corazonin is essential for ecdysis. As the corazonin neuroendocrine
cells in the brain express receptors for two midgut peptides, it seems likely
that their activity is modulated by the midgut endocrine cells. I propose that in
insects corazonin might be released under conditions of nutritional stress, which
can explain several of the observed physiological effects of this neurohormone.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2009.09.008
PMID: 19815069 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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