Jishy VARGHESE, Singfee LIM and Stephen COHEN.
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Singapore 138673.
Published in Genes & Dev. 24: 2748-2753 (2010).
Energy homeostasis depends on insulin signaling in metazoans. Insulin levels reflect the nutritional status of the animal to control levels of circulating sugar and to regulate storage of resources in the form of glycogen and fat. Over the past several years evidence has begun to accumulate that insulin production and secretion as well as cellular responsiveness to insulin are subject to regulation by microRNAs. Here we present evidence that miR-14 acts in the insulin producing neurosecretory cells in the adult Drosophila brain to control metabolism. miR-14 acts in these cells through its direct target sugarbabe. sugarbabe encodes a predicted zinc finger protein that regulates insulin gene expression in the neurosecretory cells.
Regulation of sugarbabe levels by nutrients and by miR-14 combines to allow the fly to manage resource mobilization in a nutritionally variable environment.