Published: Nov. 15, 2019

Event Information

Who: Dr. Tina Reis

What: 2019 Fall Seminar Series

When: Friday, Nov. 22nd at Noon

Where: NC 3202

Dr. Tania Reis photo





Tânia Reis, PhD

Associate Professor
University of Colorado, Medical School
Department of Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes

“How flies get fat: from genes to neurons:”

Preventing obesity requires a precise balance between deposition into and mobilization from fat stores, but regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood. Drosophila Split ends (Spen) is the founding member of a conserved family of RNA-binding proteins involved in transcriptional regulation and frequently mutated in human cancers. We find that manipulating Spen expression alters larval fat levels in a cell-autonomous manner. Spen-depleted larvae had defects in energy liberation from stores, including starvation sensitivity and major changes in the levels of metabolic enzymes and metabolites, particularly those involved in β-oxidation. Spenito, a small Spen family member, counteracted Spen function in fat regulation. Finally, mouse Spen and Spenito transcript levels scaled directly with body fat in vivo, suggesting a conserved role in fat liberation and catabolism. This study demonstrates that Spen is a key regulator of energy balance and provides a molecular context to understand the metabolic defects that arise from Spen dysfunction.

Everyone is welcome to the seminar. If you would like to meet with the speaker, please email Dr. Brian Buma at