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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 29;6:30582. doi: 10.1038/srep30582.

Molecular characterization of Tps1 and Treh genes in Drosophila and their role in body water homeostasis.

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Laboratory for Growth Control Signaling, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB), 2-2-3 Minatojima-Minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047, Japan.
Graduate School of Biological Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0101, Japan.


In insects, trehalose serves as the main sugar component of haemolymph. Trehalose is also recognized as a mediator of desiccation survival due to its proposed ability to stabilize membranes and proteins. Although the physiological role of trehalose in insects has been documented for decades, genetic evidence to support the importance of trehalose metabolism remains incomplete. We here show on the basis of genetic and biochemical evidence that the trehalose synthesis enzyme Tps1 is solely responsible for the de novo synthesis of trehalose in Drosophila. Conversely, a lack of the gene for the trehalose hydrolyzing enzyme Treh causes an accumulation of trehalose that is lethal during the pupal period, as is observed with Tps1 mutants. Lack of either Tps1 or Treh results in a significant reduction in circulating glucose, suggesting that the maintenance of glucose levels requires a continuous turnover of trehalose. Furthermore, changes in trehalose levels are positively correlated with the haemolymph water volume. In addition, both Tps1 and Treh mutant larvae exhibit a high lethality after desiccation stress. These results demonstrate that the regulation of trehalose metabolism is essential for normal development, body water homeostasis, and desiccation tolerance in Drosophila.

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