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A Tissue-Specific and Temporally-Regulated Autophagic Switch Controls a Drosophila Nutritional Checkpoint

67 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2019 Sneak Peek Status: Review Complete

See all articles by Xueyang Pan

Xueyang Pan

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development; University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Developmental Biology Center

Thomas P. Neufeld

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development; University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Developmental Biology Center

Michael B. O’Connor

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development; University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Developmental Biology Center

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Abstract

Properly timed production of steroid hormones by endocrine tissues regulates juvenile-to-adult transitions in both mammals (puberty) and holometabolous insects (metamorphosis). Nutritional conditions influence the temporal control of the transition, but the mechanisms responsible are ill-defined. Here we demonstrate that autophagy acts as an endocrine organ-specific, nutritionally-regulated, gating mechanism to help ensure productive metamorphosis in Drosophila. Autophagy in the endocrine organ is specifically stimulated by nutrient restriction (NR) at the early, but not the late L3 stage, which suppresses precocious metamorphosis in undersized larvae. Induction of autophagy disrupts production of the steroid hormone ecdysone not by destruction of biosynthetic capacity, but rather by limiting the availability of the steroid hormone precursor cholesterol. Interestingly, autophagy functions by interacting with endo/lysosome system, yet shows multiple features not fully consistent with a canonical autophagy process. Taken together, our findings demonstrate an autophagy mechanism in endocrine cells that helps guarantee a successful juvenile-to-adult transition in animals confronting nutritional stress.

Keywords: Juvenile-to-adult transition, nutrient restriction, autophagy, endocrine cell, steroid hormone, cholesterol

Suggested Citation

Pan, Xueyang and Neufeld, Thomas P. and O’Connor, Michael B., A Tissue-Specific and Temporally-Regulated Autophagic Switch Controls a Drosophila Nutritional Checkpoint (March 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3348348 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3348348
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Xueyang Pan

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Developmental Biology Center

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Thomas P. Neufeld

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Developmental Biology Center

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Michael B. O’Connor (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development ( email )

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis - Developmental Biology Center ( email )

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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