Insecticide-resistant Drosophila melanogaster strains represent a resource for the discovery of the underlying molecular mechanisms of cytochrome P450 constitutive overexpression, even if some of these P450s are not directly involved in the resistance phenotype. For example, in select 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) resistant strains the glucocorticoid receptor-like (GR-like) potential transcription factor binding motifs (TFBMs) have previously been shown to be associated with constitutively differentially-expressed cytochrome P450s, Cyp12d1, Cyp6g2 and Cyp9c1 . However, insects are not known to have glucocorticoids. The only ortholog to the mammalian glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in D. melanogaster is an estrogen-related receptor (ERR) gene, which has two predicted alternative splice isoforms (ERRa and ERRb). Sequencing of ERRa and ERRb in select DDT susceptible and resistant D. melanogaster strains has revealed a glycine (G) codon insertion which was only observed in the ligand binding domain of ERR from the resistant strains tested (ERR-G). Transgenic flies, expressing the ERRa-G allele, constitutively over-expressed Cyp12d1, Cyp6g2 and Cyp9c1. Only Cyp12d1 and Cyp6g2 were over-expressed in the ERRb-G transgenic flies. Phylogenetic studies show that the G-insertion appeared to be located in a less conserved domain in ERR and this insertion is found in multiple species across the Sophophora subgenera.
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