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  • Female-biased upregulation of insulin pathway activity mediates the sex difference in Drosophila body size plasticity.

Female-biased upregulation of insulin pathway activity mediates the sex difference in Drosophila body size plasticity.

eLife (2021-01-16)
Jason W Millington, George P Brownrigg, Charlotte Chao, Ziwei Sun, Paige J Basner-Collins, Lianna W Wat, Bruno Hudry, Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Elizabeth J Rideout
ABSTRACT

Nutrient-dependent body size plasticity differs between the sexes in most species, including mammals. Previous work in Drosophila showed that body size plasticity was higher in females, yet the mechanisms underlying increased female body size plasticity remain unclear. Here, we discover that a protein-rich diet augments body size in females and not males because of a female-biased increase in activity of the conserved insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway (IIS). This sex-biased upregulation of IIS activity was triggered by a diet-induced increase in stunted mRNA in females, and required Drosophila insulin-like peptide 2, illuminating new sex-specific roles for these genes. Importantly, we show that sex determination gene transformer promotes the diet-induced increase in stunted mRNA via transcriptional coactivator Spargel to regulate the male-female difference in body size plasticity. Together, these findings provide vital insight into conserved mechanisms underlying the sex difference in nutrient-dependent body size plasticity.

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Sigma-Aldrich
4-(2-Aminoethyl)benzenesulfonyl fluoride hydrochloride, ≥97.0% (HPLC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Protease Inhibitor Cocktail powder, for general use, lyophilized powder
Roche
cOmplete, Mini Protease Inhibitor Cocktail, Tablets provided in EASYpacks