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Secreted Peptide Dilp8 Coordinates Drosophila Tissue Growth with Developmental Timing

Science  04 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6081, pp. 582-585
DOI: 10.1126/science.1216689

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Abstract

Little is known about how organ growth is monitored and coordinated with the developmental timing in complex organisms. In insects, impairment of larval tissue growth delays growth and morphogenesis, revealing a coupling mechanism. We carried out a genetic screen in Drosophila to identify molecules expressed by growing tissues participating in this coupling and identified dilp8 as a gene whose silencing rescues the developmental delay induced by abnormally growing tissues. dilp8 is highly induced in conditions where growth impairment produces a developmental delay. dilp8 encodes a peptide for which expression and secretion are sufficient to delay metamorphosis without affecting tissue integrity. We propose that Dilp8 peptide is a secreted signal that coordinates the growth status of tissues with developmental timing.

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