Mutations in genes cnc or dKeap1 modulate stress resistance and metabolic processes in Drosophila melanogaster

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2020 Oct;248:110746. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2020.110746. Epub 2020 Jun 21.


The transcription factor Nrf2 and its negative regulator Keap1 play important roles in the maintenance of redox homeostasis in animal cells. Nrf2 activates defenses against oxidative stress and xenobiotics. Homologs of Nrf2 and Keap1 are present in Drosophila melanogaster (CncC and dKeap1, respectively). The aim of this study was to explore effects of CncC deficiency (due to mutation in the cnc gene) or enhanced activity (due to mutation in the dKeap1 gene) on redox status and energy metabolism of young adult flies in relation to behavioral traits and resistance to a number of stressors. Deficiency in either CncC or dKeap1 delayed pupation and increased climbing activity and heat stress resistance in 2-day-old adult flies. Males and females of the ∆keap1 line shared some similarities such as elevated antioxidant defense as well as lower triacylglyceride and higher glucose levels. Males of the ∆keap1 line also had a higher activity of hexokinase, whereas ∆keap1 females showed higher glycogen levels and lower values of respiratory control and ATP production than flies of the control line. Mutation of cnc gene in allele cncEY08884 caused by insertion of P{EPgy2} transposon in cnc promotor did not affect significantly the levels of metabolites and redox parameters, and even activated some components of antioxidant defense. These data suggest that the mutation can be hypomorphic as well as CncC protein can be dispensable for adult fruit flies under physiological conditions. In females, CncC mutation led to lower mitochondrial respiration, higher hexokinase activity and higher fecundity as compared with the control line. Either CncC activation or its deficiency affected stress resistance of flies.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Fecundity; Glutathione-S-transferase; Hydrogen peroxide; Mitochondrial respiration; Oxidative stress; Pre-adaptation; Pupation; Triacylglycerides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry
  • Kelch-Like ECH-Associated Protein 1 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Nitroprusside / chemistry
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Temperature
  • Xenobiotics


  • Antioxidants
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Keap1 protein, Drosophila
  • Kelch-Like ECH-Associated Protein 1
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Xenobiotics
  • cnc protein, Drosophila
  • Nitroprusside
  • Glycogen
  • Hydrogen Peroxide