A Systematic Analysis of Drosophila Regulatory Peptide Expression in Enteroendocrine Cells

  • Chen, Ji (Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University) ;
  • Kim, Seol-min (Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University) ;
  • Kwon, Jae Young (Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University)
  • Received : 2016.01.25
  • Accepted : 2016.02.18
  • Published : 2016.04.30


The digestive system is gaining interest as a major regulator of various functions including immune defense, nutrient accumulation, and regulation of feeding behavior, aside from its conventional function as a digestive organ. The Drosophila midgut epithelium is completely renewed every 1-2 weeks due to differentiation of pluripotent intestinal stem cells in the midgut. Intestinal stem cells constantly divide and differentiate into enterocytes that secrete digestive enzymes and absorb nutrients, or enteroendocrine cells that secrete regulatory peptides. Regulatory peptides have important roles in development and metabolism, but study has mainly focused on expression and functions in the nervous system, and not much is known about the roles in endocrine functions of enteroendocrine cells. We systemically examined the expression of 45 regulatory peptide genes in the Drosophila midgut, and verified that at least 10 genes are expressed in the midgut enteroendocrine cells through RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, antisera, and 25 regulatory peptide-GAL transgenes. The Drosophila midgut is highly compartmentalized, and individual peptides in enteroendocrine cells were observed to express in specific regions of the midgut. We also confirmed that some peptides expressed in the same region of the midgut are expressed in mutually exclusive enteroendocrine cells. These results indicate that the midgut enteroendocrine cells are functionally differentiated into different subgroups. Through this study, we have established a basis to study regulatory peptide functions in enteroendocrine cells as well as the complex organization of enteroendocrine cells in the Drosophila midgut.


Drosophila melanogaster;enteroendocrine cells;regulatory peptides


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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