Across species, ovulation is a process induced by a myriad of signaling cascades that ultimately leads to the release of encapsulated oocytes from follicles. Follicles first need to mature and gain ovulatory competency before ovulation; however, the signaling pathways regulating follicle maturation are incompletely understood in Drosophila and other species. Our previous work has shown that the bHLH-PAS transcription factor Single-minded (Sim) plays important roles in follicle maturation downstream of the nuclear receptor Ftz-f1 in Drosophila. Here, we demonstrate that Tango (Tgo), another bHLH-PAS protein, acts as a co-factor of Sim to promote follicle cell differentiation from stages 10 to 12. In addition, we discover that re-upregulation of Sim in stage-14 follicle cells is also essential to promote ovulatory competency by upregulating octopamine receptor in mushroom body (OAMB), matrix metalloproteinase 2 (Mmp2) and NADPH oxidase (NOX), either independently of or in conjunction with the zinc-finger protein Hindsight (Hnt). All these factors are crucial for successful ovulation. Together, our work indicates that the transcriptional complex Sim:Tgo plays multiple roles in late-stage follicle cells to promote follicle maturation and ovulation.

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