The Role of Spermidine Synthase (SpdS) and Spermine Synthase (Sms) in Regulating Triglyceride Storage in Drosophila

Tahj S. Morales, Erik C. Avis, Elise K. Paskowski, Hamza Shabar, Shannon L. Nowotarski, Justin R. DiAngelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Polyamines are small organic cations that are important for several biological processes such as cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis. The dysregulation of intracellular polyamines is often associated with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and developmental disorders. Although polyamine metabolism has been well studied, the effects of key enzymes in the polyamine pathway on lipid metabolism are not well understood. Here, we determined metabolic effects resulting from the absence of spermidine synthase (SpdS) and spermine synthase (Sms) in Drosophila. While SpdS mutants developed normally and accumulated triglycerides, Sms mutants had reduced viability and stored less triglyceride than the controls. Interestingly, when decreasing SpdS and Sms, specifically in the fat body, triglyceride storage increased. While there was no difference in triglycerides stored in heads, thoraxes and abdomen fat bodies, abdomen fat body DNA content increased, and protein/DNA decreased in both SpdS- and Sms-RNAi flies, suggesting that fat body-specific knockdown of SpdS and Sms causes the production of smaller fat body cells and triglycerides to accumulate in non-fat body tissues of the abdomen. Together, these data provide support for the role that polyamines play in the regulation of metabolism and can help enhance our understanding of polyamine function in metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedical sciences (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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