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Curr Biol. 2016 Jan 25;26(2):184-194. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.11.051. Epub 2015 Dec 31.

period-Regulated Feeding Behavior and TOR Signaling Modulate Survival of Infection.

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Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Department of Metabolism and Aging, Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA.
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA. Electronic address:


Most metazoans undergo dynamic, circadian-regulated changes in behavior and physiology. Currently, it is unknown how circadian-regulated behavior impacts immunity against infection. Two broad categories of defense against bacterial infection are resistance, control of microbial growth, and tolerance, control of the pathogenic effects of infection. Our study of behaviorally arrhythmic Drosophila circadian period mutants identified a novel link between nutrient intake and tolerance of infection with B. cepacia, a bacterial pathogen of rising importance in hospital-acquired infections. We found that infection tolerance in wild-type animals is stimulated by acute exposure to dietary glucose and amino acids. Glucose-stimulated tolerance was induced by feeding or direct injection; injections revealed a narrow window for glucose-stimulated tolerance. In contrast, amino acids stimulated tolerance only when ingested. We investigated the role of a known amino-acid-sensing pathway, the TOR (Target of Rapamycin) pathway, in immunity. TORC1 is circadian regulated and inhibition of TORC1 decreased resistance, as in vertebrates. Surprisingly, inhibition of the less well-characterized TOR complex 2 (TORC2) dramatically increased survival, through both resistance and tolerance mechanisms. This work suggests that dietary intake on the day of infection by B. cepacia can make a significant difference in long-term survival. We further demonstrate that TOR signaling mediates both resistance and tolerance of infection and identify TORC2 as a novel potential therapeutic target for increasing survival of infection.


Burkholderia cepacia; Drosophila; Rictor; TOR; TORC1; TORC2; amino acids; circadian; diet; feeding; glucose; immunity; infection; period mutant; resistance; tolerance

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