Biology Open (2020-11-01)

Royal jelly attenuates metabolic defects in a Drosophila mutant with elevated TORC1 activity

  • Yang Cheng,
  • Jiadong Cai,
  • Yuanyuan Fu,
  • Congjing Feng,
  • Yue Hao,
  • Youheng Wei

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 11


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Target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) is a master regulator of cell metabolism, and its dysregulation has been linked to an array of pathologies, including cancer and age-related diseases. Nprl3, a component of GTPase-activating protein towards Rags complex 1 (GATOR1), inhibits TORC1 activity under nutrient scarcity status. The nprl3 mutant exhibits some metabolic defects due to hyper TORC1 activity in Drosophila. Royal jelly (RJ) is a honeybee-secreted product and plays an essential role in caste differentiation that requires TORC1 activity. RJ is also used as a health-benefit food for its potential roles on antioxidant and anti-aging. In this study, nprl3-mutant flies were used to measure the effect of RJ on metabolic modulation. Interestingly, RJ feeding significantly increased survival and decreased TORC1 activity in the nprl3 mutant. RJ feeding also ameliorated the abnormal reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and energy status in the nprl3 mutant. The proteins in RJ were characterized to be the essential components in increasing nprl3 mutant viability. These findings suggest that RJ modulates some metabolic defects associated with elevated TORC1 activity and that the nprl3-mutant fly might be a useful tool for investigating the bioactive components of RJ in vivo.