Analysis of neuropeptide expression and localization in adult drosophila melanogaster central nervous system by affinity cell-capture mass spectrometry.
ABSTRACT: A combined approach using mass spectrometry, a novel neuron affinity capture technique, and Drosophila melanogaster genetic manipulation has been developed to characterize the expression and localization of neuropeptides in the adult D. melanogaster brain. In extract from the whole adult brain, 42 neuropeptides from 18 peptide families were sequenced. Neuropeptide profiling also was performed on targeted populations of cells which were enriched with immunoaffinity purification using a genetically expressed marker.
Project description:Neuropeptides are a diverse category of signaling molecules in the nervous system regulating a variety of processes including food intake, social behavior, circadian rhythms, learning, and memory. Both the identification and functional characterization of specific neuropeptides are ongoing fields of research. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis of nervous tissues from a variety of organisms allows direct detection and identification of neuropeptides. Here, we demonstrate an analysis workflow that allows for the detection of differences in specific neuropeptides amongst a variety of neuropeptides being simultaneously measured. For sample preparation, we describe a straight-forward and rapid (minutes) method where individual adult Drosophila melanogaster brains are analyzed. Using a MATLAB-based data analysis workflow, also compatible with MALDI-TOF mass spectra obtained from other sample preparations and instrumentation, we demonstrate how changes in neuropeptides levels can be detected with this method.Over fifty isotopically resolved ion signals in the peptide mass range are reproducibly observed across experiments. MALDI-TOF MS profile spectra were used to statistically identify distinct relative differences in organ-wide endogenous levels of detected neuropeptides between biological conditions. In particular, three distinct levels of a particular neuropeptide, pigment dispersing factor, were detected by comparing groups of preprocessed spectra obtained from individual brains across three different D. melanogaster strains, each of which express different amounts of this neuropeptide. Using the same sample preparation, MALDI-TOF/TOF tandem mass spectrometry confirmed that at least 14 ion signals observed across experiments are indeed neuropeptides. Among the identified neuropeptides were three products of the neuropeptide-like precursor 1 gene previously not identified in the literature.Using MALDI-TOF MS and preprocessing/statistical analysis, changes in relative levels of a particular neuropeptide in D. melanogaster tissue can be statistically detected amongst a variety of neuropeptides. While the data analysis methods should be compatible with other sample preparations, the presented sample preparation method was sufficient to identify previously unconfirmed D. melanogaster neuropeptides.
Project description:Aggressive behavior is regulated by various neuromodulators such as neuropeptides and biogenic amines. Here we found that the neuropeptide Drosulfakinin (Dsk) modulates aggression in Drosophila melanogaster. Knock-out of Dsk or Dsk receptor CCKLR-17D1 reduced aggression. Activation and inactivation of Dsk-expressing neurons increased and decreased male aggressive behavior, respectively. Moreover, data from transsynaptic tracing, electrophysiology and behavioral epistasis reveal that Dsk-expressing neurons function downstream of a subset of P1 neurons (P1a-splitGAL4) to control fighting behavior. In addition, winners show increased calcium activity in Dsk-expressing neurons. Conditional overexpression of Dsk promotes social dominance, suggesting a positive correlation between Dsk signaling and winning effects. The mammalian ortholog CCK has been implicated in mammal aggression, thus our work suggests a conserved neuromodulatory system for the modulation of aggressive behavior.
Project description:Neuropeptides are an ancient class of neuronal signaling molecules that regulate a variety of physiological and behavioral processes in animals. The life cycle of many animals includes a larval stage(s) that precedes metamorphic transition to a reproductively active adult stage but, with the exception of Drosophila melanogaster and other insects, research on neuropeptide signaling has hitherto largely focused on adult animals. However, recent advances in genome/transcriptome sequencing have facilitated investigation of neuropeptide expression/function in the larvae of protostomian (e.g., the annelid Platynereis dumerilii) and deuterostomian (e.g., the urochordate Ciona intestinalis) invertebrates. Accordingly, here we report the first multi-gene investigation of larval neuropeptide precursor expression in a species belonging to the phylum Echinodermata-the starfish Asterias rubens. Whole-mount mRNA in situ hybridization was used to visualize in bipinnaria and brachiolaria stage larvae the expression of eight neuropeptide precursors: L-type SALMFamide (S1), F-type SALMFamide (S2), vasopressin/oxytocin-type, NGFFYamide, thyrotropin-releasing hormone-type, gonadotropin-releasing hormone-type, calcitonin-type and corticotropin-releasing hormone-type. Expression of only three of the precursors (S1, S2, NGFFYamide) was observed in bipinnaria larvae but by the brachiolaria stage expression of all eight precursors was detected. An evolutionarily conserved feature of larval nervous systems is the apical organ and in starfish larvae this comprises the bilaterally symmetrical lateral ganglia, but only the S1 and S2 precursors were found to be expressed in these ganglia. A prominent feature of brachiolaria larvae is the attachment complex, comprising the brachia and adhesive disk, which mediates larval attachment to a substratum prior to metamorphosis. Interestingly, all of the neuropeptide precursors examined here are expressed in the attachment complex, with distinctive patterns of expression suggesting potential roles for neuropeptides in the attachment process. Lastly, expression of several neuropeptide precursors is associated with ciliary bands, suggesting potential roles for the neuropeptides derived from these precursors in control of larval locomotion and/or feeding. In conclusion, our findings provide novel perspectives on the evolution and development of neuropeptide signaling systems and neuroanatomical insights into neuropeptide function in echinoderm larvae.
Project description:The lobster Homarus americanus has long served as an important animal model for electrophysiological and behavioral studies. Using this model, we performed a comprehensive investigation of the neuropeptide expression and their localization in the nervous system, which provides useful insights for further understanding of their biological functions. Using nanoLC ESI Q-TOF MS/MS and three types of MALDI instruments, we analyzed the neuropeptide complements in a major neuroendocrine structure, pericardial organ. A total of 57 putative neuropeptides were identified and 18 of them were de novo sequenced. Using direct tissue/extract analysis and bioinformatics software SpecPlot, we charted the global distribution of neuropeptides throughout the nervous system in H. americanus. Furthermore, we also mapped the localization of several neuropeptide families in the brain by high mass resolution and high mass accuracy mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) using a MALDI LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometer. We have also compared the utility and instrument performance of multiple mass spectrometers for neuropeptide analysis in terms of peptidome coverage, sensitivity, mass spectral resolution and capability for de novo sequencing.
Project description:Synaptic neuropeptide and neurotrophin stores are maintained by constitutive bidirectional capture of dense-core vesicles (DCVs) as they circulate in and out of the nerve terminal. Activity increases DCV capture to rapidly replenish synaptic neuropeptide stores following release. However, it is not known whether this is due to enhanced bidirectional capture. Here experiments at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where DCVs contain neuropeptides and a bone morphogenic protein, show that activity-dependent replenishment of synaptic neuropeptides following release is evident after inhibiting the retrograde transport with the dynactin disruptor mycalolide B or photobleaching DCVs entering a synaptic bouton by retrograde transport. In contrast, photobleaching anterograde transport vesicles entering a bouton inhibits neuropeptide replenishment after activity. Furthermore, tracking of individual DCVs moving through boutons shows that activity selectively increases capture of DCVs undergoing anterograde transport. Finally, upregulating fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (Fmr1, also called FMRP) acts independently of futsch/MAP-1B to abolish activity-dependent, but not constitutive, capture. Fmr1 also reduces presynaptic neuropeptide stores without affecting activity-independent delivery and evoked release. Therefore, presynaptic motoneuron neuropeptide storage is increased by a vesicle capture mechanism that is distinguished from constitutive bidirectional capture by activity dependence, anterograde selectivity, and Fmr1 sensitivity. These results show that activity recruits a separate mechanism than used at rest to stimulate additional synaptic capture of DCVs for future release of neuropeptides and neurotrophins.Synaptic release of neuropeptides and neurotrophins depends on presynaptic accumulation of dense-core vesicles (DCVs). At rest, DCVs are captured bidirectionally as they circulate through Drosophila motoneuron terminals by anterograde and retrograde transport. Here we show that activity stimulates further synaptic capture that is distinguished from basal capture by its selectivity for anterograde DCVs and its inhibition by overexpression of the fragile X retardation protein Fmr1. Fmr1 dramatically lowers DCV numbers in synaptic boutons. Therefore, activity-dependent anterograde capture is a major determinant of presynaptic peptide stores.
Project description:With the approach of winter, many insects switch to an alternative protective developmental program called diapause. Drosophila melanogaster females overwinter as adults by inducing a reproductive arrest that is characterized by inhibition of ovarian development at previtellogenic stages. The insulin producing cells (IPCs) are key regulators of this process, since they produce and release insulin-like peptides that act as diapause-antagonizing hormones. Here we show that in D. melanogaster two neuropeptides, Pigment Dispersing Factor (PDF) and short Neuropeptide F (sNPF) inhibit reproductive arrest, likely through modulation of the IPCs. In particular, genetic manipulations of the PDF-expressing neurons, which include the sNPF-producing small ventral Lateral Neurons (s-LNvs), modulated the levels of reproductive dormancy, suggesting the involvement of both neuropeptides. We expressed a genetically encoded cAMP sensor in the IPCs and challenged brain explants with synthetic PDF and sNPF. Bath applications of both neuropeptides increased cAMP levels in the IPCs, even more so when they were applied together, suggesting a synergistic effect. Bath application of sNPF additionally increased Ca2+ levels in the IPCs. Our results indicate that PDF and sNPF inhibit reproductive dormancy by maintaining the IPCs in an active state.
Project description:Neuropeptides are evolutionarily ancient mediators of neuronal signalling in nervous systems. With recent advances in genomics/transcriptomics, an increasingly wide range of species has become accessible for molecular analysis. The deuterostomian invertebrates are of particular interest in this regard because they occupy an 'intermediate' position in animal phylogeny, bridging the gap between the well-studied model protostomian invertebrates (e.g. Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans) and the vertebrates. Here we have identified 40 neuropeptide precursors in the starfish Asterias rubens, a deuterostomian invertebrate from the phylum Echinodermata. Importantly, these include kisspeptin-type and melanin-concentrating hormone-type precursors, which are the first to be discovered in a non-chordate species. Starfish tachykinin-type, somatostatin-type, pigment-dispersing factor-type and corticotropin-releasing hormone-type precursors are the first to be discovered in the echinoderm/ambulacrarian clade of the animal kingdom. Other precursors identified include vasopressin/oxytocin-type, gonadotropin-releasing hormone-type, thyrotropin-releasing hormone-type, calcitonin-type, cholecystokinin/gastrin-type, orexin-type, luqin-type, pedal peptide/orcokinin-type, glycoprotein hormone-type, bursicon-type, relaxin-type and insulin-like growth factor-type precursors. This is the most comprehensive identification of neuropeptide precursor proteins in an echinoderm to date, yielding new insights into the evolution of neuropeptide signalling systems. Furthermore, these data provide a basis for experimental analysis of neuropeptide function in the unique context of the decentralized, pentaradial echinoderm bauplan.
Project description:BACKGROUND: For holometabolous insects there has been an explosion of proteomic and peptidomic information thanks to large genome sequencing projects. Heterometabolous insects, although comprising many important species, have been far less studied. The migratory locust Locusta migratoria, a heterometabolous insect, is one of the most infamous agricultural pests. They undergo a well-known and profound phase transition from the relatively harmless solitary form to a ferocious gregarious form. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of this phase transition are not fully understood, but it is undoubtedly that neuropeptides are involved. However, neuropeptide research in locusts is hampered by the absence of genomic information. RESULTS: Recently, EST (Expressed Sequence Tag) databases from Locusta migratoria were constructed. Using bioinformatical tools, we searched these EST databases specifically for neuropeptide precursors. Based on known locust neuropeptide sequences, we confirmed the sequence of several previously identified neuropeptide precursors (i.e. pacifastin-related peptides), which consolidated our method. In addition, we found two novel neuroparsin precursors and annotated the hitherto unknown tachykinin precursor. Besides one of the known tachykinin peptides, this EST contained an additional tachykinin-like sequence. Using neuropeptide precursors from Drosophila melanogaster as a query, we succeeded in annotating the Locusta neuropeptide F, allatostatin-C and ecdysis-triggering hormone precursor, which until now had not been identified in locusts or in any other heterometabolous insect. For the tachykinin precursor, the ecdysis-triggering hormone precursor and the allatostatin-C precursor, translation of the predicted neuropeptides in neural tissues was confirmed with mass spectrometric techniques. CONCLUSION: In this study we describe the annotation of 6 novel neuropeptide precursors and the neuropeptides they encode from the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria. By combining the manual annotation of neuropeptides with experimental evidence provided by mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that the genes are not only transcribed but also translated into precursor proteins. In addition, we show which neuropeptides are cleaved from these precursor proteins and how they are post-translationally modified.
Project description:A primary function of males for many species involves mating with females for reproduction. Drosophila melanogaster males respond to the presence of other males by prolonging mating duration to increase the chance of passing on their genes. To understand the basis of such complex behaviors, we examine the genetic network and neural circuits that regulate rival-induced Longer-Mating-Duration (LMD). Here, we identify a small subset of clock neurons in the male brain that regulate LMD via neuropeptide signaling. LMD requires the function of pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) in four s-LNv neurons and its receptor PDFR in two LNd neurons per hemisphere, as well as the function of neuropeptide F (NPF) in two neurons within the sexually dimorphic LNd region and its receptor NPFR1 in four s-LNv neurons per hemisphere. Moreover, rival exposure modifies the neuronal activities of a subset of clock neurons involved in neuropeptide signaling for LMD.
Project description:Neuropeptides are a diverse class of neuronal signalling molecules that regulate physiological processes and behaviour in animals. However, determining the relationships and evolutionary origins of the heterogeneous assemblage of neuropeptides identified in a range of phyla has presented a huge challenge for comparative physiologists. Here, we review revolutionary insights into the evolution of neuropeptide signalling that have been obtained recently through comparative analysis of genome/transcriptome sequence data and by 'deorphanisation' of neuropeptide receptors. The evolutionary origins of at least 30 neuropeptide signalling systems have been traced to the common ancestor of protostomes and deuterostomes. Furthermore, two rounds of genome duplication gave rise to an expanded repertoire of neuropeptide signalling systems in the vertebrate lineage, enabling neofunctionalisation and/or subfunctionalisation, but with lineage-specific gene loss and/or additional gene or genome duplications generating complex patterns in the phylogenetic distribution of paralogous neuropeptide signalling systems. We are entering a new era in neuropeptide research where it has become feasible to compare the physiological roles of orthologous and paralogous neuropeptides in a wide range of phyla. Moreover, the ambitious mission to reconstruct the evolution of neuropeptide function in the animal kingdom now represents a tangible challenge for the future.