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Annu Rev Genet. 2016 Nov 23;50:539-570. Epub 2016 Oct 10.

Interorgan Communication Pathways in Physiology: Focus on Drosophila.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115; email: ,
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


Studies in mammals and Drosophila have demonstrated the existence and significance of secreted factors involved in communication between distal organs. In this review, primarily focusing on Drosophila, we examine the known interorgan communication factors and their functions, physiological inducers, and integration in regulating physiology. Moreover, we describe how organ-sensing screens in Drosophila can systematically identify novel conserved interorgan communication factors. Finally, we discuss how interorgan communication enabled and evolved as a result of specialization of organs. Together, we anticipate that future studies will establish a model for metazoan interorgan communication network (ICN) and how it is deregulated in disease.


adipokine; interorgan communication; interorgan communication network; myokine; secreted factor; secretion

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