Juvenile hormone (JH) is critical for multiple aspects of insect development and physiology. Although roles for the hormone have received considerable study, an understanding of the molecules necessary for JH action in insects has been frustratingly slow to evolve. Methoprene-tolerant (Met) in Drosophila melanogaster fulfills many of the requirements for a hormone receptor gene. A paralogous gene, germ-cell expressed (gce), possesses homology and is a candidate as a Met partner in JH action. Expression of gce was found to occur at multiple times and in multiple tissues during development, similar to that previously found for Met. To probe roles of this gene in JH action, we carried out in vivo gce over- and underexpression studies. We show by overexpression studies that gce can substitute in vivo for Met, alleviating preadult but not adult phenotypic characters. We also demonstrate that RNA interference-driven knockdown of gce expression in transgenic flies results in preadult lethality in the absence of MET. These results show that (1) unlike Met, gce is a vital gene and shows functional flexibility and (2) both gene products appear to promote JH action in preadult but not adult development.