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Cell Metab. 2006 Aug;4(2):133-42.

Activated FOXO-mediated insulin resistance is blocked by reduction of TOR activity.

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The Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Cancer Research Center, Neuroscience and Aging Center, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Reducing insulin/IGF signaling allows for organismal survival during periods of inhospitable conditions by regulating the diapause state, whereby the organism stockpiles lipids, reduces fertility, increases stress resistance, and has an increased lifespan. The Target of Rapamycin (TOR) responds to changes in growth factors, amino acids, oxygen tension, and energy status; however, it is unclear how TOR contributes to physiological homeostasis and disease conditions. Here, we show that reducing the function of Drosophila TOR results in decreased lipid stores and glucose levels. Importantly, this reduction of dTOR activity blocks the insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome phenotypes associated with increased activity of the insulin responsive transcription factor, dFOXO. Reduction in dTOR function also protects against age-dependent decline in heart function and increases longevity. Thus, the regulation of dTOR activity may be an ancient "systems biological" means of regulating metabolism and senescence, that has important evolutionary, physiological, and clinical implications.

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