Drosophila tribbles antagonizes insulin signaling-mediated growth and metabolism via interactions with Akt kinase

PLoS One. 2014 Oct 15;9(10):e109530. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109530. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Drosophila Tribbles (Trbl) is the founding member of the Trib family of kinase-like docking proteins that modulate cell signaling during proliferation, migration and growth. In a wing misexpression screen for Trbl interacting proteins, we identified the Ser/Thr protein kinase Akt1. Given the central role of Akt1 in insulin signaling, we tested the function of Trbl in larval fat body, a tissue where rapid increases in size are exquisitely sensitive to insulin/insulin-like growth factor levels. Consistent with a role in antagonizing insulin-mediated growth, trbl RNAi knockdown in the fat body increased cell size, advanced the timing of pupation and increased levels of circulating triglyceride. Complementarily, overexpression of Trbl reduced fat body cell size, decreased overall larval size, delayed maturation and lowered levels of triglycerides, while circulating glucose levels increased. The conserved Trbl kinase domain is required for function in vivo and for interaction with Akt in a yeast two-hybrid assay. Consistent with direct regulation of Akt, overexpression of Trbl in the fat body decreased levels of activated Akt (pSer505-Akt) while misexpression of trbl RNAi increased phospho-Akt levels, and neither treatment affected total Akt levels. Trbl misexpression effectively suppressed Akt-mediated wing and muscle cell size increases and reduced phosphorylation of the Akt target FoxO (pSer256-FoxO). Taken together, these data show that Drosophila Trbl has a conserved role to bind Akt and block Akt-mediated insulin signaling, and implicate Trib proteins as novel sites of signaling pathway integration that link nutrient availability with cell growth and proliferation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference
  • Signal Transduction / genetics

Substances

  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insulin
  • trbl protein, Drosophila
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt