MicroRNA-mediated regulation of Dp53 in the Drosophila fat body contributes to metabolic adaptation to nutrient deprivation

Cell Rep. 2014 Jul 24;8(2):528-41. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.020. Epub 2014 Jul 10.


Multiple conserved mechanisms sense nutritional conditions and coordinate metabolic changes in the whole organism. We unravel a role for the Drosophila homolog of p53 (Dp53) in the fat body (FB; a functional analog of vertebrate adipose and hepatic tissues) in starvation adaptation. Under nutrient deprivation, FB-specific depletion of Dp53 accelerates consumption of major energy stores and reduces survival rates of adult flies. We show that Dp53 is regulated by the microRNA (miRNA) machinery and miR-305 in a nutrition-dependent manner. In well-fed animals, TOR signaling contributes to miR-305-mediated inhibition of Dp53. Nutrient deprivation reduces the levels of miRNA machinery components and leads to Dp53 derepression. Our results uncover an organism-wide role for Dp53 in nutrient sensing and metabolic adaptation and open up avenues toward understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying p53 activation under nutrient deprivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Animals
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fat Body / metabolism*
  • Food Deprivation*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • MIRN305 microRNA, Drosophila
  • MicroRNAs
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • p53 protein, Drosophila
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases