What's new in edition 73 |
Gene sites new with this edition
The Interactive Fly was first released July/August 1996, with updates provided at approximately one month intervals, through September 1997 (edition 13). Updating quarterly started with edition 14. With edition 40, the Interactive Fly began to schedule updates three times a year: fall, winter and spring.
- Gene sites new with this edition of the Interactive Fly:
The Drosophila transcription factor Cabut/dTIEG (Cbt) is a growth regulator, whose expression is modulated by different stimuli. This study determined Cbt association with chromatin and identified Yorkie (Yki), the transcriptional co-activator of the Hippo (Hpo) pathway as its partner. Cbt and yki co-localize on common gene promoters, and the expression of target genes varies according to changes in Cbt levels. Down-regulation of Cbt suppresses the overgrowth phenotypes caused by mutations in expanded (ex) and yki over-expression, whereas its up-regulation promotes cell proliferation. These results imply that Cbt is a novel partner of yki that is required as a transcriptional co-activator in growth control (Ruiz-Romero, 2015).
Decretins, hormones induced by fasting that suppress insulin production and secretion, have been postulated from classical human metabolic studies. From genetic screens, this study identified Drosophila Limostatin (Lst), a peptide hormone that suppresses insulin secretion. Lst is induced by nutrient restriction in gut-associated endocrine cells. limostatin deficiency leads to hyperinsulinemia, hypoglycemia, and excess adiposity. A conserved 15-residue polypeptide encoded by limostatin suppresses secretion by insulin-producing cells. Targeted knockdown of CG9918, a Drosophila ortholog of mammalian Neuromedin U receptors (NMURs), in
insulin-producing cells phenocopied limostatin deficiency and
attenuated insulin suppression by purified Lst, suggesting CG9918
encodes an Lst receptor. Human NMUR1 is expressed in islet β
cells, and purified NMU suppressed insulin secretion from human
islets. A human mutant NMU variant that co-segregates with familial
early-onset obesity and hyperinsulinemia failed to suppress insulin
secretion. The study proposes Lst as an index member of an ancient
hormone class called decretins, which suppress insulin output (Alfa, 2015).
- missing oocyte
In single-cell eukaryotes the pathways that monitor nutrient availability are central to initiating the meiotic program and gametogenesis. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae an essential step in the transition to the meiotic cycle is the down-regulation of the nutrient-sensitive target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1; see Drosophila Tor pathway) by the increased minichromosome loss 1/ GTPase-activating proteins toward Rags 1 (Iml1/GATOR1) complex in response to amino acid starvation. How metabolic inputs influence early meiotic progression and gametogenesis remains poorly understood in metazoans. This study defined opposing functions for the TORC1 regulatory complexes Iml1/GATOR1 and GATOR2 during Drosophila oogenesis. As is observed in yeast, the Iml1/GATOR1 complex inhibits TORC1 activity to slow cellular metabolism and drive the mitotic/meiotic transition in developing ovarian cysts. In iml1 germline depletions, ovarian cysts undergo an extra mitotic division before meiotic entry. The TORC1 inhibitor rapamycin can suppress this extra mitotic division. Thus, high TORC1 activity delays the mitotic/meiotic transition. Conversely, mutations in Tor, which encodes the catalytic subunit of the TORC1 complex, result in premature meiotic entry. Later in oogenesis, the GATOR2 components Missing oocyte (Mio) and Seh1 are required to oppose Iml1/GATOR1 activity to prevent the constitutive inhibition of TORC1 and a block to oocyte growth and development. These studies represent the first examination of the regulatory relationship between the Iml1/GATOR1 and GATOR2 complexes within the context of a multicellular organism. The data imply that the central role of the Iml1/GATOR1 complex in the regulation of TORC1 activity in the early meiotic cycle has been conserved from single cell to multicellular organisms (Wei, 2014b).
- multi sex combs
Nuclear bodies (NBs) are structures that concentrate proteins, RNAs, and ribonucleoproteins that perform functions essential to gene expression. How NBs assemble is not well understood. Drosophila histone locus body (HLB), a NB that concentrates factors required for histone mRNA biosynthesis at the replication-dependent histone gene locus, was studied. Biochemical analysis was coupled with confocal imaging of both fixed and live tissues to demonstrate that the Drosophila Multi-Sex Combs (Mxc) protein contains multiple domains necessary for HLB assembly. An important feature of this assembly process is the self-interaction of Mxc via two conserved N-terminal domains: a LisH domain and a novel SIF (Self Interaction Facilitator) domain immediately downstream of the LisH domain. Molecular modeling suggests that the LisH and SIF domains directly interact, and mutation of either the LisH or SIF domains severely impairs Mxc function in vivo resulting in reduced histone mRNA accumulation. A region of Mxc between amino acids 721 and 1481 is also necessary for HLB assembly independent of the LisH and SIF domains. Lastly, the C-terminal 195 amino acids of Mxc are required for recruiting FLASH, an essential histone mRNA processing factor, to the HLB. It is concluded that multiple domains of the Mxc protein promote HLB assembly in order to concentrate factors required for histone mRNA biosynthesis (Terzo, 2015).
- Odorant receptors 71a, 94a and 94b
Dietary antioxidants play an important role in preventing oxidative stress. Whether animals in search of food or brood sites are able to judge the antioxidant content, and if so actively seek out resources with enriched antioxidant content, remains unclear. This study shows that the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster detects the presence of hydroxycinnamic acids (HCAs)-potent dietary antioxidants abundant in fruit-via olfactory cues. Flies were unable to smell HCAs directly but were found to be equipped with dedicated olfactory sensory neurons detecting yeast-produced ethylphenols that are exclusively derived from HCAs. These neurons were housed on the maxillary palps, expressed the odorant receptor Or71a, and were necessary and sufficient for proxy detection of HCAs. Activation of these neurons in adult flies induced positive chemotaxis, oviposition, and increased feeding. Further, fly larvae also sought yeast enriched with HCAs and used the same ethylphenol cues as the adults but relied for detection upon a larval unique odorant receptor (Or94b), which was co-expressed with a receptor (Or94a) detecting a general yeast volatile. Also, the ethylphenols acted as reliable cues for the presence of dietary antioxidants, as these volatiles were produced-upon supplementation of HCAs-by a wide range of yeasts known to be consumed by flies. For flies, dietary antioxidants are presumably important to counteract acute oxidative stress induced by consumption or by infection by entomopathogenic microorganisms. The ethylphenol pathway described in this study adds another layer to the fly's defensive arsenal against toxic microbes (Dweck, 2015).
- Octopamine β3 receptor
In Drosophila, pulsed production of the steroid hormone ecdysone
plays a pivotal role in developmental transitions such as
metamorphosis. Ecdysone production is regulated in the prothoracic gland (PG) by prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) and insulin-like peptides (Ilps). This study shows that monoaminergic autocrine regulation of ecdysone biosynthesis in the PG is essential for metamorphosis. PG-specific
knockdown of a monoamine G protein-coupled receptor, β3-octopamine receptor (Octβ3R), resulted in arrested metamorphosis due to lack of ecdysone. Knockdown of tyramine biosynthesis genes expressed in the PG caused similar defects in ecdysone production and metamorphosis. Moreover, PTTH and Ilps signaling were impaired by Octβ3R knockdown in the PG, and activation of these signaling pathways rescued the defect in metamorphosis. Thus, monoaminergic autocrine signaling in the PG
regulated ecdysone biogenesis in a coordinated fashion on activation
by PTTH and Ilps. The study proposes that monoaminergic autocrine
signaling acts downstream of a body size checkpoint that allows
metamorphosis to occur when nutrients are sufficiently abundant (Ohhara, 2015).
The rapid removal of larval midgut is a critical developmental process directed by molting hormone ecdysone during Drosophila metamorphosis. To date, it remains unclear how the stepwise events can link the onset of ecdysone signaling to the destruction of larval midgut. This study investigated whether ecdysone-induced expression of receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP52F regulates this process. The mutation of the Ptp52F gene caused significant delay in larval midgut degradation. Transitional endoplasmic reticulum ATPase (TER94), a regulator of ubiquitin proteasome system, was identified as a substrate and downstream effector of PTP52F in the ecdysone signaling. The inducible expression of PTP52F at the puparium formation stage resulted in dephosphorylation of TER94 on its Y800 residue, ensuring the rapid degradation of ubiquitylated proteins. One of the proteins targeted by dephosphorylated TER94 was found to be Drosophila inhibitor of apoptosis 1 (DIAP1), which was rapidly proteolyzed in cells with significant expression of PTP52F. Importantly, the reduced level of DIAP1 in response to inducible PTP52F was essential not only for the onset of apoptosis but also for the initiation of autophagy. This study demonstrates a novel function of PTP52F in regulating ecdysone-directed metamorphosis via enhancement of autophagic and apoptotic cell death in doomed Drosophila midguts (Santhanam, 2014).
- TAR DNA-binding protein-43 homolog
TDP-43 is an evolutionarily conserved RNA binding protein recently associated with the pathogenesis of different neurological diseases. At the moment, neither its physiological role in vivo nor the mechanisms that may lead to neurodegeneration are well known. Previous studies have shown that TDP-43 mutant flies presented locomotive alterations and structural defects at the neuromuscular junctions (Feiguin, 2009). This study investigated the functional mechanism leading to these phenotypes by screening several factors known to be important for synaptic growth or bouton formation. As a result it was found that alterations in the organization of synaptic microtubules correlate with reduced protein levels in the microtubule associated protein Futsch/MAP1B. Moreover, TDP-43 was found to physically interact with futsch mRNA and that its RNA binding capacity is required to prevent futsch down-regulation and synaptic defects (Godena, 2011).
date revised: 4 May 2015
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