CDK8 mediates the dietary effects on developmental transition in Drosophila Academic Article uri icon


  • The complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors, such as diet and lifestyle, defines the initiation and progression of multifactorial diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and neurological disorders. Given that most of the studies have been performed in controlled experimental settings to ensure the consistency and reproducibility, the impacts of environmental factors, such as dietary perturbation, on the development of animals with different genotypes and the pathogenesis of these diseases remain poorly understood. By analyzing the cdk8 and cyclin C (cycC) mutant larvae in Drosophila, we have previously reported that the CDK8-CycC complex coordinately regulates lipogenesis by repressing dSREBP (sterol regulatory element-binding protein)-activated transcription and developmental timing by activating EcR (ecdysone receptor)-dependent gene expression. Here we report that dietary nutrients, particularly proteins and carbohydrates, modulate the developmental timing through the CDK8/CycC/EcR pathway. We observed that cdk8 and cycC mutants are sensitive to the levels of dietary proteins and seven amino acids (arginine, glutamine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, threonine, and valine). Those mutants are also sensitive to dietary carbohydrates, and they are more sensitive to monosaccharides than disaccharides. These results suggest that CDK8-CycC mediates the dietary effects on lipid metabolism and developmental timing in Drosophila larvae.

author list (cited authors)

  • Gao, X., Xie, X., Hsu, F., Li, X., Liu, M., Hemba-Waduge, R., Xu, W. u., & Ji, J.

complete list of authors

  • Gao, Xinsheng||Xie, Xiao-Jun||Hsu, Fu-Ning||Li, Xiao||Liu, Mengmeng||Hemba-Waduge, Rajitha-Udakara-Sampath||Xu, Wu||Ji, Jun-Yuan

publication date

  • January 2018