Eur. J. Entomol. 106 (4): 519-528, 2009 | 10.14411/eje.2009.065

Rhythmic oscillations of α-amylase protein and its enzymatic activity levels in Drosophila melanogaster (Diptera: Drosophilidae)

Marcin A. CIUK, Piotr BEBAS, Bronislaw CYMBOROWSKI*
Department of Animal Physiology, University of Warsaw, Poland; e-mail: bron@biol.uw.edu.pl

In this report, we show that α-amylase activity is rhythmic in the wild-type fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and that this rhythm exhibits the properties of a clock output. Moreover, the rhythm of amylase activity is accompanied by fluctuations in the Amy protein level under 12L : 12D conditions. A strong sexual dimorphism is evident in the oscillations of Amy protein and enzymatic activity. Under light : dark (LD) conditions on the control diet, CantonS wild-type Drosophila melanogaster exhibit a bimodal rhythm of amylase activity, particularly of the AmyD3 (Amy3) isoform, with morning and evening peaks. Under these conditions, Amy protein levels also oscillate significantly, again more strongly for the Amy3 isoform than Amy1 (Amy1). A robust oscillation of Amy3 and Amy1 activity is also observed under DD conditions for both sexes. In constant light (LL) the rhythms dampen out, particularly in the males. A high level of dietary glucose causes an overall decrease in the amplitudes of the rhythmic oscillations of amylase activity, but the processes are nevertheless rhythmic, with peak activities at Zt8 for the females, and at Zt0 for the males in LD. In constant darkness (DD) the rhythms are maintained. Mutants lacking a functioning oscillator, per01, exhibit a slight photoperiodicity in LD, with a decrease in amylase activity in both males and females during the late night in LD, but no rhythmic oscillations in DD.

Keywords: Drosophilidae, Drosophila melanogaster, a-amylase, rhythms, biological clock, insect

Received: May 18, 2009; Accepted: June 26, 2009; Published: November 20, 2009

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