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Interplay between growth factor and nutrient signaling: lessons from Drosophila TOR.

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  • 1Zoologisches Institut, Universität Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.


During normal development, cellular and organismal growth is coordinately regulated. Each cell and each individual organ integrates information about nutrient availability, hormonal signals, and intrinsic growth programs. Describing the signaling pathways involved in these processes and how they are integrated is important to understand how growth is controlled during development and may also permit the development of means to curb uncontrolled growth in disease. In recent years, the biochemical analysis of cellular growth in cultured cells and the genetic dissection of growth control in model organisms has identified two conserved signaling pathways dedicated to cellular growth. The target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway regulates growth in response to nutrients, and the insulin/IGF pathways are involved in coordinating cellular growth in response to endocrine signals. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of the interaction between these pathways, with a special focus on the contribution of the genetic analysis of these pathways in Drosophila.

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