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J Biol Chem. 2004 Dec 3;279(49):50781-9. Epub 2004 Sep 21.

Drosophila short neuropeptide F regulates food intake and body size.

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Laboratory of Development and Differentiation, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, 52 Eoun-dong, Yusong-gu, Daejeon, 395-333, Korea.


Neuropeptides regulate a wide range of animal behavior including food consumption, circadian rhythms, and anxiety. Recently, Drosophila neuropeptide F, which is the homolog of the vertebrate neuropeptide Y, was cloned, and the function of Drosophila neuropeptide F in feeding behaviors was well characterized. However, the function of the structurally related short neuropeptide F (sNPF) was unknown. Here, we report the cloning, RNA, and peptide localizations, and functional characterizations of the Drosophila sNPF gene. The sNPF gene encodes the preprotein containing putative RLRF amide peptides and was expressed in the nervous system of late stage embryos and larvae. The embryonic and larval localization of the sNPF peptide in the nervous systems revealed the larval central nervous system neural circuit from the neurons in the brain to thoracic axons and to connective axons in the ventral ganglion. In the adult brain, the sNPF peptide was localized in the medulla and the mushroom body. However, the sNPF peptide was not detected in the gut. The sNPF mRNA and the peptide were expressed during all developmental stages from embryo to adult. From the feeding assay, the gain-of-function sNPF mutants expressed in nervous systems promoted food intake, whereas the loss-of-function mutants suppressed food intake. Also, sNPF overexpression in nervous systems produced bigger and heavier flies. These findings indicate that the sNPF is expressed in the nervous systems to control food intake and regulate body size in Drosophila melanogaster.

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