Genetic dissection of sleep–metabolism interactions in the fruit fly

Maria E. Yurgel, Pavel Masek, Justin DiAngelo, Alex C. Keene

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Dysregulation of sleep and metabolism has enormous health consequences. Sleep loss is linked to increased appetite and insulin insensitivity, and epidemiological studies link chronic sleep deprivation to obesity-related disorders including type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Interactions between sleep and metabolism involve the integration of signaling from brain regions regulating sleep, feeding, and metabolic function. Investigating the relationship between these processes provides a model to address more general questions of how the brain prioritizes homeostatically regulated behaviors. The availability of powerful genetic tools in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, allows for precise manipulation of neural function in freely behaving animals. There is a strong conservation of genes and neural circuit principles regulating sleep and metabolic function, and genetic screens in fruit flies have been effective in identifying novel regulators of these processes. Here, we review recent findings in the fruit fly that further our understanding of how the brain modulates sleep in accordance with metabolic state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-877
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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