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Fujikawa, K., Takahashi, A., Nishimura, A., Itoh, M., Takano-Shimizu, T., Ozaki, M. (2009). Characteristics of genes up-regulated and down-regulated after 24 h starvation in the head of Drosophila.  Gene 446(1): 11--17.
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Starvation is a common experience under fluctuating food conditions in nature, and response to it is vital for many organisms. Many studies have investigated the response at physiological and behavioral level, whereas the studies on starvation-induced transcriptional changes in the brain and the surrounding tissues are still limited. We here investigated global changes in transcript abundance in the head after 24 h starvation by microarray expression profiling of 2 wild-derived inbred strains of Drosophila melanogaster, and identified a core set of 65 up-regulated and 48 down-regulated genes upon starvation. Among these up-regulated genes, 22 genes were circadian oscillating genes previously identified in the head of Drosophila. Interestingly, most (86%) of these circadian genes show their expression peak in a narrow time range of ZT7.0-12.0, when flies are relatively restless and less feeding in the normal condition. Among the down-regulated genes, 2 genes with highest fold-differences, fit and CG8147, are known to have female-biased expression in the head, and 1 gene, Obp99b, is known to be male-biased. Together with the realtime qPCR experiments on female and male transcripts, our data suggest that these sex-specific genes are candidate genes mediating a possible trade-off between starvation resistance and reproduction. Eleven down-regulated genes are known to be involved in the immune response. These changes in head transcriptome upon starvation reflect modulation of expression in some normally oscillating rhythmic genes and reduction in the resource allocation toward sexual activity and immunity.

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