Infoscience

Journal article

Transforming Growth Factor beta/Activin signaling in neurons increases susceptibility to starvation

Animals rely on complex signaling network to mobilize its energy stores during starvation. We have previously shown that the sugar-responsive TGF beta/Activin pathway, activated through the TGF beta ligand Dawdle, plays a central role in shaping the post-prandial digestive competence in the Drosophila midgut. Nevertheless, little is known about the TGF beta/Activin signaling in sugar metabolism beyond the midgut. Here, we address the importance of Dawdle (Daw) after carbohydrate ingestion. We found that Daw expression is coupled to dietary glucose through the evolutionarily conserved Mio-Mlx transcriptional complex. In addition, Daw activates the TGF beta/Activin signaling in neuronal populations to regulate triglyceride and glycogen catabolism and energy homeostasis. Loss of those neurons depleted metabolic reserves and rendered flies susceptible to starvation.

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