S6 kinase reflects and regulates ethanol-induced sedation

Summer F. Acevedo, Raniero L. Peru y Colón de Portugal, Dante A. Gonzalez, Aylin R. Rodan, Adrian Rothenfluh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) affect people at great individual and societal cost. Individuals at risk for AUDs are sensitive to alcohol’s rewarding effects and/or resistant to its aversive and sedating effects. The molecular basis for these traits is poorly understood. Here, we show that p70 S6 kinase (S6k), acting downstream of the insulin receptor (InR) and the small GTPase Arf6, is a key mediator of ethanolinduced sedation in Drosophila. S6k signaling in the adult nervous system determines flies’ sensitivity to sedation. Furthermore, S6k activity, measured via levels of phosphorylation (P-S6k), is a molecular marker for sedation and overall neuronal activity: P-S6k levels are decreased when neurons are silenced, as well as after acute ethanol sedation. Conversely, P-S6k levels rebound upon recovery from sedation and are increased when neuronal activity is enhanced. Reducing neural activity increases sensitivity to ethanol-induced sedation, whereas neuronal activation decreases ethanol sensitivity. These data suggest that ethanol has acute silencing effects on adult neuronal activity, which suppresses InR/Arf6/S6k signaling and results in behavioral sedation. In addition, we show that activity of InR/Arf6/S6k signaling determines flies’ behavioral sensitivity to ethanol-induced sedation, highlighting this pathway in acute responses to ethanol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15396-15402
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 18 2015


  • Addiction
  • Arf6
  • Drosophila
  • Ethanol
  • Insulin receptro
  • S6 kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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