In all animals managing the size of individual meals and frequency of feeding is crucial for metabolic homeostasis. In the current study we demonstrate that the noradrenalin analogue octopamine and the cholecystokinin (CCK) homologue Drosulfakinin (Dsk) function downstream of TfAP-2 and Tiwaz (Twz) to control the number of meals in adult flies. Loss of TfAP-2 or Twz in octopaminergic neurons increased the size of individual meals, while overexpression of TfAP-2 significantly decreased meal size and increased feeding frequency. Of note, our study reveals that TfAP-2 and Twz regulate octopamine signaling to initiate feeding; then octopamine, in a negative feedback loop, induces expression of Dsk to inhibit consummatory behavior. Intriguingly, we found that the mouse TfAP-2 and Twz homologues, AP-2? and Kctd15, co-localize in areas of the brain known to regulate feeding behavior and reward, and a proximity ligation assay (PLA) demonstrated that AP-2? and Kctd15 interact directly in a mouse hypothalamus-derived cell line. Finally, we show that in this mouse hypothalamic cell line AP-2? and Kctd15 directly interact with Ube2i, a mouse sumoylation enzyme, and that AP-2? may itself be sumoylated. Our study reveals how two obesity-linked homologues regulate metabolic homeostasis by modulating consummatory behavior.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a monogenic disorder that is subdivided into four different types and caused by survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1) deletion. Discordant cases of SMA suggest that there exist additional severity modifying factors, apart from the SMN2 gene copy number. Here we performed the first genome-wide methylation profiling of SMA patients and healthy individuals to study the association of DNA methylation status with the severity of the SMA phenotype. We identified strong significant differences in methylation level between SMA patients and healthy controls in CpG sites close to the genes CHML, ARHGAP22, CYTSB, CDK2AP1 and SLC23A2. Interestingly, the CHML and ARHGAP22 genes are associated with the activity of Rab and Rho GTPases, which are important regulators of vesicle formation, actin dynamics, axonogenesis, processes that could be critical for SMA development. We suggest that epigenetic modifications may influence the severity of SMA and that these novel genetic positions could prove to be valuable biomarkers for the understanding of SMA pathogenesis.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA type I, II and III) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1). SMN2 is a centromeric copy gene that has been characterized as a major modifier of SMA severity. SMA type I patients have one or two SMN2 copies while most SMA type II patients carry three SMN2 copies and SMA III patients have three or four SMN2 copies. The SMN1 gene produces a full-length transcript (FL-SMN) while SMN2 is only able to produce a small portion of the FL-SMN because of a splice mutation which results in the production of abnormal SMN?7 mRNA.
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