The Forkhead BoxO transcription factor (FOXO) is a component of the insulin signalling pathway and plays a role in responding to adverse conditions, such as oxidative stress and starvation. In stressful conditions, FOXO moves from the cytosol to the nucleus where it activates gene expression programmes. Here, we show that FOXO in Drosophila melanogaster responds to heat stress as it does to other stressors. The catecholamine signalling pathway is another component of the stress response. In Drosophila, dopamine and octopamine levels rise steeply under heat, nutrition and mechanical stresses, which is followed by a decrease in the activity of synthesis enzymes. We demonstrate that the nearly twofold decline of FOXO expression in foxoBG01018 mutants results in dramatic changes in the metabolism of dopamine and octopamine and the overall response to stress. The absence of FOXO increases tyrosine decarboxylase activity, the first enzyme in octopamine synthesis, and decreases the enzymatic activity of enzymes in dopamine synthesis, alkaline phosphatase and tyrosine hydroxylase, in young Drosophila females. We identified the juvenile hormone as a mediator of FOXO regulation of catecholamine metabolism. Our findings suggest that FOXO is a possible trigger for endocrinological stress reactions.
- Received September 26, 2016.
- Accepted October 12, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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