Altered insulin signaling has been linked to widespread nervous system dysfunction including cognitive dysfunction, neuropathy and susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease. However, knowledge of the cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of insulin on neuronal function is incomplete. Here, we show that cell autonomous insulin signaling within the Drosophila CM9 motor neuron regulates the release of neurotransmitter via alteration of the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery. This effect of insulin utilizes the FOXO-dependent regulation of the thor gene, which encodes the Drosophila homologue of the eif-4e binding protein (4eBP). A critical target of this regulatory mechanism is Complexin, a synaptic protein known to regulate synaptic vesicle exocytosis. We find that the amounts of Complexin protein observed at the synapse is regulated by insulin and genetic manipulations of Complexin levels support the model that increased synaptic Complexin reduces neurotransmission in response to insulin signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)