Transcriptional activation of the Drosophila ecdysone receptor by insect and plant ecdysteroids

Keith D. Baker, James T. Warren, Carl S. Thummel, Lawrence I. Gilbert, David J. Mangelsdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A number of insect ecdysteroids, plant ecdysteroids and juvenoids were assayed for their ability to activate Drosophila nuclear receptors in transfected tissue culture cells. Discrete modifications to 20-hydroxyecdysone, the apparent natural ligand for the ecdysone receptor (EcR), conferred dramatic changes on the transcriptional activity of this receptor, suggesting that other biologically relevant EcR ligands may exist. Conversely, none of the compounds tested had a significant effect on the activity of three Drosophila orphan nuclear receptors: DHR38, DHR78 or DHR96. Taken together, these results demonstrate the selectivity of EcR for a series of natural and synthetic ecdysone agonists and suggest that as yet untested compounds may be responsible for activating DHR38, DHR78 and DHR96. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1043
Number of pages7
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000


  • Drosophila
  • Ecdysone receptor
  • Ecdysteroids
  • Orphan nuclear receptor
  • Ultraspiracle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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