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Dillen S.,Molecular Developmental Physiology and Signal Transduction | Verdonck R.,Molecular Developmental Physiology and Signal Transduction | Zels S.,Molecular Developmental Physiology and Signal Transduction | Van Wielendaele P.,Molecular Developmental Physiology and Signal Transduction | Vanden Broeck J.,Molecular Developmental Physiology and Signal Transduction
Peptides | Year: 2014

Peptides of the short neuropeptide F (sNPF) family have been shown to modulate feeding behavior in a wide variety of insect species. While these peptides stimulate feeding and food-searching behavior in Drosophila melanogaster and Apis mellifera, an opposite effect has recently been demonstrated in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. In this study, we elaborate on these observations with the identification of the nucleotide sequence encoding the Schgr-sNPF precursor and the study of its role in the regulation of locust feeding behavior. We confirm that both Schgr-sNPF-like peptides, previously identified in mass spectrometric studies, are genuine precursor-encoded peptides. RNA interference mediated silencing of the Schgr-sNPF precursor transcript generates novel evidence for an inhibitory role of Schgr-sNPF in the regulation of feeding in S. gregaria. Furthermore, we show that starvation reduces the Schgr-sNPF precursor transcript level in the optic lobes, the primary visual centers of the locust brain. Our data indicate that Schgr-sNPF exerts an inhibitory effect on food uptake in the desert locust, which contrasts with effects of sNPF reported for several other insect species. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

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