Identification of novel physiological processes regulated by Neprilysin activity in Drosophila melanogaster

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Title: Identification of novel physiological processes regulated by Neprilysin activity in Drosophila melanogaster
Authors: Hallier, Benjamin Christoph
Thesis advisor: Dr. Heiko Harten
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Achim Paululat
Abstract: Drosophila insulin like peptides (DILPs) and their human homolog insulin act as messengers to control many physiological processes in the body. Fields in which insulin signaling is crucial are e.g. growth, stress responses and aging. Consequently, many diseases are caused by disturbed insulin signaling, of which diabetes is the most prominent. During the last decades the functions of insulins and their signaling pathways have been studied in detail; what remains less well understood is how the production of insulin and insulin like peptides is regulated. The family of Neprilysins (Neps) belongs to the M13-zinc ion binding metallopeptidases. Neprilysins cleave peptides that regulate a wide range of cellular processes and are therefore linked to a variety of diseases like cancer, analgesia, hypertension or Alzheimer’s disease. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, five Neprilysins are expressed; but their in vivo substrates have not yet been identified. One of the Drosophila Neprilysins, Nep4, is expressed in the CNS, in muscle tissue, in cardiac tissue and in male reproductive organs. Nep4 is expressed in two isoforms, Nep4A and Nep4B. Isoform A is composed of a short intracellular domain, a transmembrane domain and a large extracellular domain containing the catalytically active center, whereas soluble Nep4B only consists of the extracellular domain. This thesis reveals that overexpression of catalytically active Nep4A in muscle tissue leads to animals with impaired insulin expression, decreased size and weight, affected feeding behavior and reduced locomotion speed. Further phenotypes are an impaired energy metabolism and larval lethality. Knockdown of the whole enzyme or knockout of its catalytic activity also interferes with feeding and locomotion speed and, in addition, causes pupal lethality. As an explanation for the phenotypes, Nep4 mediated hydrolysis of different short neuropeptide F (sNPF) species, which were identified as novel substrates of the peptidase, is proposed. sNPF is known to regulate insulin signaling and knockdown of sNPF phenocopies the Nep4 overexpression phenotypes, which suggests that Nep4 mediated hydrolysis of sNPF regulates insulin expression in the fly. Based on these results additional regulatory peptides were identified as novel Nep4 substrates. Among them are peptides that do not only regulate insulin signaling, but also feeding behavior (Hallier et al., 2016). These findings represent good evidence that muscle bound Nep4 is key to regulate homeostasis of distinct hemolymph circulating peptide hormones. Nep4 localizing to the surface of the central nervous system is likely necessary to ensure effective ligand clearance and thus proper regulation of corresponding peptide receptors.
Subject Keywords: Neprilysin; Drosophila; Metallopeptidase; Metabolism
Issue Date: 19-Jun-2017
License name: Namensnennung-NichtKommerziell-KeineBearbeitung 3.0 Unported
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Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB05 - E-Dissertationen

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