amnesiac regulates sleep onset and maintenance in Drosophila melanogaster

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Aug 8;372(4):798-803. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.05.119. Epub 2008 Jun 2.


The adenylate cyclase/cAMP signaling pathway and adult mushroom bodies (MBs) have been shown to play an important role in sleep regulation in Drosophila. The amnesiac (amn) gene, encodes a neuropeptide that is homologous with vertebrate pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), is expressed in dorsal paired medial (DPM) neurons and is required for the middle-term memory (MTM) in flies. However, the role of amn on regulation of sleep is as yet unknown. Here we provide evidence that amn plays a major role on sleep maintenance and onset in Drosophila. Flies with the amnesiac allele, loss-of-function amn(X8) mutation, showed a fragmented sleep pattern and short sleep latency. Moreover, homeostatic regulation was disrupted in amn(X8) mutants after sleep deprivation. Sleep maintenance was also influenced by disruption of neurotransmission in DPM neurons with increased sleep bout number and decreased sleep bout length. Furthermore, age-related sleep fragmentation and initiation were inhibited in amn(X8) mutant flies. These data suggest that amn is required in initiation and maintenance of sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / physiology
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*
  • Sleep / genetics*
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / genetics
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Tetanus Toxin / biosynthesis
  • Tetanus Toxin / genetics


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Tetanus Toxin
  • amn protein, Drosophila