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Controlling animal growth and body size - does fruit fly physiology point the way?

Grewal SS - F1000 Biol Rep (2012)

Bottom Line: However, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclear.The last year or so has seen a flurry of reports on the control of growth and body size in Drosophila, and a central theme to these papers is the idea of signaling between organs as a control mechanism for overall body growth and development.While this concept is obviously not new, these fly studies now open up the possibility of using a genetically tractable system to dissect in detail how organ-to-organ communication dictates body size.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clark Smith Brain Tumor Center, Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary Alberta, T2N 1N4 Canada.

ABSTRACT
The question of how growth and size are controlled has fascinated generations of biologists. However, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclear. The last year or so has seen a flurry of reports on the control of growth and body size in Drosophila, and a central theme to these papers is the idea of signaling between organs as a control mechanism for overall body growth and development. While this concept is obviously not new, these fly studies now open up the possibility of using a genetically tractable system to dissect in detail how organ-to-organ communication dictates body size.

No MeSH data available.


Signaling between different organs can influence overall growth and development in Drosophila larvae(TOP) Over a period of 4-5 days, Drosophila larvae progress through development and increase in mass approximately 200-fold. This growth and development is triggered and maintained by the availability of dietary protein. (BOTTOM) Recent studies have described how communication between different larval tissues can influence overall body growth and development (see text for details). In many cases, the nature of both the secreted factors that mediate this inter-organ signaling is still unclear. Abbreviations: dILP, Drosophila insulin-like peptides; NB, neuroblast; NSC, neurosecretory cell; PI3, phosphoinositide-3; TOR, target of rapamycin.
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fig-001: Signaling between different organs can influence overall growth and development in Drosophila larvae(TOP) Over a period of 4-5 days, Drosophila larvae progress through development and increase in mass approximately 200-fold. This growth and development is triggered and maintained by the availability of dietary protein. (BOTTOM) Recent studies have described how communication between different larval tissues can influence overall body growth and development (see text for details). In many cases, the nature of both the secreted factors that mediate this inter-organ signaling is still unclear. Abbreviations: dILP, Drosophila insulin-like peptides; NB, neuroblast; NSC, neurosecretory cell; PI3, phosphoinositide-3; TOR, target of rapamycin.

Mentions: The last year or so has seen a flurry of reports on the control of growth and body size in Drosophila. A central theme to these papers is the idea of signaling between organs as a control mechanism for overall body growth and development (see Figure 1 for summary). This concept is obviously not new; decades of research on the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis in mammals have emphasized the role of endocrine factors in body growth. But these fly studies now open up the possibility of using a genetically tractable system to dissect in detail how organ-to-organ communication dictates body size. For example, one obvious question that these papers leave unanswered concerns the nature of the relevant organ-to-organ signaling molecules. Undoubtedly, the versatility and sophistication of Drosophila genetics, and in particular the ability to perform targeted, tissue-specific loss-of-function RNAi screens, will spur research into the identification of these elusive factors. Once we discover these secreted factors, will we find that they are conserved, and might they play similar endocrine roles in other animals? Certainly, the insulin-like peptides present a strong precedent for conserved organ-to-organ signaling networks that control body growth and size. Nevertheless, even if the factors are not conserved, the principle of organ-to-organ signaling and physiology as governing mechanisms for body size control will probably be central to animal development. And no doubt Drosophila research will continue to lead the way in unraveling these mechanisms.


Controlling animal growth and body size - does fruit fly physiology point the way?

Grewal SS - F1000 Biol Rep (2012)

Signaling between different organs can influence overall growth and development in Drosophila larvae(TOP) Over a period of 4-5 days, Drosophila larvae progress through development and increase in mass approximately 200-fold. This growth and development is triggered and maintained by the availability of dietary protein. (BOTTOM) Recent studies have described how communication between different larval tissues can influence overall body growth and development (see text for details). In many cases, the nature of both the secreted factors that mediate this inter-organ signaling is still unclear. Abbreviations: dILP, Drosophila insulin-like peptides; NB, neuroblast; NSC, neurosecretory cell; PI3, phosphoinositide-3; TOR, target of rapamycin.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3369236&req=5

fig-001: Signaling between different organs can influence overall growth and development in Drosophila larvae(TOP) Over a period of 4-5 days, Drosophila larvae progress through development and increase in mass approximately 200-fold. This growth and development is triggered and maintained by the availability of dietary protein. (BOTTOM) Recent studies have described how communication between different larval tissues can influence overall body growth and development (see text for details). In many cases, the nature of both the secreted factors that mediate this inter-organ signaling is still unclear. Abbreviations: dILP, Drosophila insulin-like peptides; NB, neuroblast; NSC, neurosecretory cell; PI3, phosphoinositide-3; TOR, target of rapamycin.
Mentions: The last year or so has seen a flurry of reports on the control of growth and body size in Drosophila. A central theme to these papers is the idea of signaling between organs as a control mechanism for overall body growth and development (see Figure 1 for summary). This concept is obviously not new; decades of research on the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis in mammals have emphasized the role of endocrine factors in body growth. But these fly studies now open up the possibility of using a genetically tractable system to dissect in detail how organ-to-organ communication dictates body size. For example, one obvious question that these papers leave unanswered concerns the nature of the relevant organ-to-organ signaling molecules. Undoubtedly, the versatility and sophistication of Drosophila genetics, and in particular the ability to perform targeted, tissue-specific loss-of-function RNAi screens, will spur research into the identification of these elusive factors. Once we discover these secreted factors, will we find that they are conserved, and might they play similar endocrine roles in other animals? Certainly, the insulin-like peptides present a strong precedent for conserved organ-to-organ signaling networks that control body growth and size. Nevertheless, even if the factors are not conserved, the principle of organ-to-organ signaling and physiology as governing mechanisms for body size control will probably be central to animal development. And no doubt Drosophila research will continue to lead the way in unraveling these mechanisms.

Bottom Line: However, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclear.The last year or so has seen a flurry of reports on the control of growth and body size in Drosophila, and a central theme to these papers is the idea of signaling between organs as a control mechanism for overall body growth and development.While this concept is obviously not new, these fly studies now open up the possibility of using a genetically tractable system to dissect in detail how organ-to-organ communication dictates body size.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clark Smith Brain Tumor Center, Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary Alberta, T2N 1N4 Canada.

ABSTRACT
The question of how growth and size are controlled has fascinated generations of biologists. However, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclear. The last year or so has seen a flurry of reports on the control of growth and body size in Drosophila, and a central theme to these papers is the idea of signaling between organs as a control mechanism for overall body growth and development. While this concept is obviously not new, these fly studies now open up the possibility of using a genetically tractable system to dissect in detail how organ-to-organ communication dictates body size.

No MeSH data available.