Author(s): Pasco MY, Lopold P
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Abstract In multicellular organisms, insulin/IGF signaling (IIS) plays a central role in matching energy needs with uptake and storage, participating in functions as diverse as metabolic homeostasis, growth, reproduction and ageing. In mammals, this pleiotropy of action relies in part on a dichotomy of action of insulin, IGF-I and their respective membrane-bound receptors. In organisms with simpler IIS, this functional separation is questionable. In Drosophila IIS consists of several insulin-like peptides called Dilps, activating a unique membrane receptor and its downstream signaling cascade. During larval development, IIS is involved in metabolic homeostasis and growth. We have used feeding conditions (high sugar diet, HSD) that induce an important change in metabolic homeostasis to monitor possible effects on growth. Unexpectedly we observed that HSD-fed animals exhibited severe growth inhibition as a consequence of peripheral Dilp resistance. Dilp-resistant animals present several metabolic disorders similar to those observed in type II diabetes (T2D) patients. By exploring the molecular mechanisms involved in Drosophila Dilp resistance, we found a major role for the lipocalin Neural Lazarillo (NLaz), a target of JNK signaling. NLaz expression is strongly increased upon HSD and animals heterozygous for an NLaz null mutation are fully protected from HSD-induced Dilp resistance. NLaz is a secreted protein homologous to the Retinol-Binding Protein 4 involved in the onset of T2D in human and mice. These results indicate that insulin resistance shares common molecular mechanisms in flies and human and that Drosophila could emerge as a powerful genetic system to study some aspects of this complex syndrome.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering