Methylglyoxal-derived hydroimidazolone, MG-H1, increases food intake by altering tyramine signaling via the GATA transcription factor ELT-3 in Caenorhabditis elegans

Muniesh Muthaiyan Shanmugam, Jyotiska Chaudhuri, Durai Sellegounder, Amit Kumar Sahu, Sanjib Guha, Manish Chamoli, Brian Hodge, Neelanjan Bose, Charis Roberts, Dominique O. Farrera, Gordon Lithgow, Richmond Sarpong, James J. Galligan, Pankaj Kapahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars, is exploited to produce flavorful food ubiquitously, from the baking industry to our everyday lives. However, the Maillard reaction also occurs in all cells, from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, forming Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs). AGEs are a heterogeneous group of compounds resulting from the irreversible reaction between biomolecules and α-dicarbonyls (α-DCs), including methylglyoxal (MGO), an unavoidable byproduct of anaerobic glycolysis and lipid peroxidation. We previously demonstrated that Caenorhabditis elegans mutants lacking the glod-4 glyoxalase enzyme displayed enhanced accumulation of α-DCs, reduced lifespan, increased neuronal damage, and touch hypersensitivity. Here, we demonstrate that glod-4 mutation increased food intake and identify that MGO-derived hydroimidazolone, MG-H1, is a mediator of the observed increase in food intake. RNAseq analysis in glod-4 knockdown worms identified upregulation of several neurotransmitters and feeding genes. Suppressor screening of the overfeeding phenotype identified the tdc-1-tyramine-tyra-2/ser-2 signaling as an essential pathway mediating AGEs (MG-H1) induced feeding in glod-4 mutants. We also identified the elt-3 GATA transcription factor as an essential upstream regulator for increased feeding upon accumulation of AGEs by partially controlling the expression of tdc-1 gene. Further, the lack of either tdc-1 or tyra-2/ser-2 receptors suppresses the reduced lifespan and rescues neuronal damage observed in glod-4 mutants. Thus, in C. elegans, we identified an elt-3 regulated tyramine-dependent pathway mediating the toxic effects of MG-H1 AGE. Understanding this signaling pathway may help understand hedonistic overfeeding behavior observed due to modern AGEs-rich diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere82446
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs)
  • C. elegans
  • Feeding
  • GATA transcription factor
  • MG-H1
  • elt-3
  • glod-4
  • neuronal damage
  • pharyngeal pumping
  • ser-2
  • tyra-2
  • tyramine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Methylglyoxal-derived hydroimidazolone, MG-H1, increases food intake by altering tyramine signaling via the GATA transcription factor ELT-3 in Caenorhabditis elegans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this