PLoS genetics

Minibrain/Dyrk1a regulates food intake through the Sir2-FOXO-sNPF/NPY pathway in Drosophila and mammals.

PMID 22876196


Feeding behavior is one of the most essential activities in animals, which is tightly regulated by neuroendocrine factors. Drosophila melanogaster short neuropeptide F (sNPF) and the mammalian functional homolog neuropeptide Y (NPY) regulate food intake. Understanding the molecular mechanism of sNPF and NPY signaling is critical to elucidate feeding regulation. Here, we found that minibrain (mnb) and the mammalian ortholog Dyrk1a, target genes of sNPF and NPY signaling, [corrected] regulate food intake in Drosophila melanogaster and mice. In Drosophila melanogaster neuronal cells and mouse hypothalamic cells, sNPF and NPY modulated the mnb and Dyrk1a expression through the PKA-CREB pathway. Increased Dyrk1a activated Sirt1 to regulate the deacetylation of FOXO, which potentiated FOXO-induced sNPF/NPY expression and in turn promoted food intake. Conversely, AKT-mediated insulin signaling suppressed FOXO-mediated sNPF/NPY expression, which resulted in decreasing food intake. Furthermore, human Dyrk1a transgenic mice exhibited decreased FOXO acetylation and increased NPY expression in the hypothalamus, and [corrected] increased food intake. Our findings demonstrate that Mnb/Dyrk1a regulates food intake through the evolutionary conserved Sir2-FOXO-sNPF/NPY pathway in Drosophila melanogaster and mammals.