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J Proteome Res. 2011 Apr 1;10(4):1881-92. doi: 10.1021/pr101116g. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Peptidomics and peptide hormone processing in the Drosophila midgut.

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Department of Biology, Animal Physiology, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany.


Peptide hormones are key messengers in the signaling network between the nervous system, endocrine glands, energy stores and the gastrointestinal tract that regulates feeding and metabolism. Studies on the Drosophila nervous system have uncovered parallels and homologies in homeostatic peptidergic signaling between fruit flies and vertebrates. Yet, the role of enteroendocrine peptides in the regulation of feeding and metabolism has not been explored, with research hampered by the unknown identity of peptides produced by the fly's intestinal tract. We performed a peptidomic LC/MS analysis of the fruit fly midgut containing the enteroendocrine cells. By MS/MS fragmentation, we found 24 peptides from 9 different preprohormones in midgut extracts, including MIP-4 and 2 forms of AST-C. DH(31), CCHamide1 and CCHamide2 are biochemically characterized for the first time. All enteroendocrine peptides represent brain-gut peptides, and apparently are processed by Drosophila prohormone convertase 2 (AMON) as suggested by impaired peptide detectability in amon mutants and localization of amon-driven GFP to enteroendocrine cells. Because of its genetic amenability and peptide diversity, Drosophila provides a good model system to study peptide signaling. The identification of enteroendocrine peptides in the fruit fly provides a platform to address functions of gut peptide hormones in the regulation of feeding and metabolism.

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