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EMBO J. 2007 Jan 24;26(2):371-9. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Insulin delays the progression of Drosophila cells through G2/M by activating the dTOR/dRaptor complex.

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Growth Regulation Laboratory, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, London, UK.


In Drosophila and mammals, insulin signalling can increase growth, progression through G1/S, cell size and tissue size. Here, we analyse the way insulin affects cell size and cell-cycle progression in two haemocyte-derived Drosophila cell lines. Surprisingly, we find that although insulin increases cell size, it slows the rate at which these cells increase in number. By using BrdU pulse-chase to label S-phase cells and follow their progression through the cell cycle, we show that insulin delays progression through G2/M, thereby slowing cell division. The ability of insulin to slow progression through G2/M is independent of its ability to stimulate progression through G1/S, so is not a consequence of feedback by the cell-cycle machinery to maintain cell-cycle length. Insulin's effects on progression through G2/M are mediated by dTOR/dRaptor signalling. Partially inhibiting dTOR/dRaptor signalling by dsRNAi or mild rapamycin treatment can increase cell number in cultured haemocytes and the Drosophila wing, respectively. Thus, insulin signalling can influence cell number depending on a balance between its ability to accelerate progression through G1/S and delay progression through G2/M.

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