Coordination between Insulin Signaling and Ecdysone Signaling during Drosophila melanogaster Development



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Insulin signaling is a remarkably conserved pathway that regulates nutrient storage and release in vertebrates and invertebrates. In Drosophila, growth and development are balanced through a mechanism involving insulin and ecdysone signaling. The level of insulin signaling varies based on the stage of development to regulate the release and storage of nutrients in the fat body, an organ that serves as a nutrient reservoir. During metamorphosis, insulin signaling is downregulated to release nutrients from the fat body necessary to fuel the process, while at the same time, a pulse of ecdysone signaling remodels the fat body from a sheet of attached polygonal cells to individual cells that are dispersed through out the body cavity. Previous studies have indicated that ecdysone signaling negatively regulates insulin signaling expression during metamorphosis. I proposed that ecdysone signaling coordinates the break up and dispersal of fat body cells with nutrient release from the fat body by downregulating insulin signaling. I tested this hypothesis by examining markers of insulin signaling in mosaic clones of fat body cells in which ecdysone signaling is disrupted. My results indicate that ecdysone is necessary to inhibit insulin signaling during fat body remodeling.



Insulin signaling, Fat body remodeling, Drosophila melanogaster, autophagy, Ecdysone signaling