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G3 (Bethesda). 2015 Feb 13;5(4):667-75. doi: 10.1534/g3.115.017269.

Drosophila melanogaster activating transcription factor 4 regulates glycolysis during endoplasmic reticulum stress.

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Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112.
Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress results from an imbalance between the load of proteins entering the secretory pathway and the ability of the ER to fold and process them. The response to ER stress is mediated by a collection of signaling pathways termed the unfolded protein response, which plays important roles in development and disease. Here we show that in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells, ER stress induces a coordinated change in the expression of genes involved in carbon metabolism. Genes encoding enzymes that carry out glycolysis were up-regulated, whereas genes encoding proteins in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and respiratory chain complexes were down-regulated. The unfolded protein response transcription factor Atf4 was necessary for the up-regulation of glycolytic enzymes and Lactate dehydrogenase (Ldh). Furthermore, Atf4 binding motifs in promoters for these genes could partially account for their regulation during ER stress. Finally, flies up-regulated Ldh and produced more lactate when subjected to ER stress. Together, these results suggest that Atf4 mediates a shift from a metabolism based on oxidative phosphorylation to one more heavily reliant on glycolysis, reminiscent of aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect observed in cancer and other proliferative cells.


Atf4; endoplasmic reticulum stress; glycolysis; metabolism; unfolded protein response

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