In Drosophila the monoamine octopamine, through mechanisms that are not completely resolved, regulates both aggression and mating behavior. Interestingly, our study demonstrates that the Drosophila obesity-linked homologues Transcription factor AP-2 (TfAP-2, TFAP2B in humans) and Tiwaz (Twz, KCTD15 in humans) interact to modify male behavior by controlling the expression of Tyramine β-hydroxylase (Tbh) and Vesicular monanime transporter (Vmat), genes necessary for octopamine production and secretion. Furthermore, we reveal that octopamine in turn regulates aggression through the Drosophila cholecystokinin (CCK) satiation hormone homologue Drosulfakinin (Dsk). Finally, we establish that TfAP-2 is expressed in octopaminergic neurons known to control aggressive behaviour and that TfAP-2 requires functional Twz for its activity. We conclude that genetically manipulating the obesity-linked homologues TfAP-2 and Twz is sufficient to affect octopamine signalling, which in turn modulates Drosophila male behavior through the regulation of the satiation hormone Dsk.

  • Received August 5, 2013.
  • Accepted October 14, 2013.