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Development. 2002 Sep;129(17):4103-9.

The Drosophila insulin/IGF receptor controls growth and size by modulating PtdInsP(3) levels.

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  • 1Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich, Zoologisches Institut, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH - 8057, Switzerland.


Understanding the control of size is of fundamental biological and clinical importance. Insulin/IGF signaling during development controls growth and size, possibly by coordinating the activities of the Ras and PI 3-kinase signaling pathways. We show that in Drosophila mutating the consensus binding site for the Ras pathway adaptor Drk/Grb2 in Chico/IRS does not interfere with growth whereas mutating the binding sites of the PI 3-kinase adaptor p60 completely abrogates Chico function. Furthermore, we present biochemical and genetic evidence that loss of the homolog of the tumor suppressor gene, Pten, results in increased PtdInsP(3) levels and that these increased levels are sufficient to compensate for the complete loss of the Insulin/insulin-like growth factor receptor function. This reduction of Pten activity is also sufficient to vastly increase organism size. These results suggest that PtdInsP(3) is a second messenger for growth and that levels of PtdInsP(3) during development regulate organismal size.

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