Molecular and cellular endocrinology

Insights into insulin-like peptide system in invertebrates from studies on IGF binding domain-containing proteins in the female mud crab, Scylla paramamosain.

PMID 26284495


Insulin-like peptides (ILPs) have been proved to exist extensively in invertebrates and play critical roles in regulating growth, metabolism and reproduction. ILP signaling system has been well defined in insects, with all key components homologous with vertebrate IGF signaling; however, counterparts of IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs) in vertebrates are not included in this system because of lacking sufficient researches in the related aspect. The present study firstly reports the identification of three kinds of invertebrate IGF binding (IB) domain-containing protein genes from the mud crab Scylla paramamosain. Gene expression analysis suggested that they might be closely involved in ovarian development, but with separate roles. Subsequent bioinformatics analysis and in vitro experiments indicated that they are likely to serve as endogenous ILP-specific binding proteins in invertebrates. More importantly, based on the current evidence we inferred that in invertebrate, ILP system might take the place of IGF system in vertebrate species.