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Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 19;9(1):8798. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45269-x.

Endocrine regulation of MFS2 by branchless controls phosphate excretion and stone formation in Drosophila renal tubules.

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Section Endocrinology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Endocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Section Endocrinology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


How inorganic phosphate (Pi) homeostasis is regulated in Drosophila is currently unknown. We here identify MFS2 as a key Pi transporter in fly renal (Malpighian) tubules. Consistent with its role in Pi excretion, we found that dietary Pi induces MFS2 expression. This results in the formation of Malpighian calcium-Pi stones, while RNAi-mediated knockdown of MFS2 increases blood (hemolymph) Pi and decreases formation of Malpighian tubule stones in flies cultured on high Pi medium. Conversely, microinjection of adults with the phosphaturic human hormone fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) induces tubule expression of MFS2 and decreases blood Pi. This action of FGF23 is blocked by genetic ablation of MFS2. Furthermore, genetic overexpression of the fly FGF branchless (bnl) in the tubules induces expression of MFS2 and increases Malpighian tubule stones suggesting that bnl is the endogenous phosphaturic hormone in adult flies. Finally, genetic ablation of MFS2 increased fly life span, suggesting that Malpighian tubule stones are a key element whereby high Pi diet reduces fly longevity previously reported by us. In conclusion, MFS2 mediates excretion of Pi in Drosophila, which is as in higher species under the hormonal control of FGF-signaling.

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