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Drosophila insulin release is triggered by adipose Stunted ligand to brain Methuselah receptor

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Science  30 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6307, pp. 1553-1556
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8430

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Abstract

Animals adapt their growth rate and body size to available nutrients by a general modulation of insulin–insulin-like growth factor signaling. In Drosophila, dietary amino acids promote the release in the hemolymph of brain insulin-like peptides (Dilps), which in turn activate systemic organ growth. Dilp secretion by insulin-producing cells involves a relay through unknown cytokines produced by fat cells. Here, we identify Methuselah (Mth) as a secretin-incretin receptor subfamily member required in the insulin-producing cells for proper nutrient coupling. We further show, using genetic and ex vivo organ culture experiments, that the Mth ligand Stunted (Sun) is a circulating insulinotropic peptide produced by fat cells. Therefore, Sun and Mth define a new cross-organ circuitry that modulates physiological insulin levels in response to nutrients.

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