The sugar-responsive enteroendocrine neuropeptide F regulates lipid metabolism through glucagon-like and insulin-like hormones in Drosophila melanogaster
© Joao Paulo Burini/Moment/Getty Images
A gut hormone produced by insects that the same metabolic function as incretin, mammalian hormones that aid in blood sugar control. The discovery could help scientists to develop fruit-fly models of metabolic diseases linked to incretin loss in people.
A team led by researchers at the University of Tsukuba has shown how neuropeptide F, a hormone previously linked to reproductive function, also plays a role in regulating metabolism.
After a meal, flies secrete the hormone from cells in their intestines. The hormone then binds to receptors in gland-like structures behind the brain, setting off a signaling cascade that promotes healthy metabolism of sugar and fat.
Fruit flies deficient in neuropeptide F showed a similar range of disease-related traits as humans lacking incretin function, which highlights the similarities in sugar-dependent metabolic processes between insects and mammals.
- Nature Communications 12, 4818 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25146-w