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The Role of Peptide Hormones in Insect Lipid Metabolism

   Toprak, Umut

Lipids are the primary storage molecules and an essential source of energy in insects during reproduction, prolonged periods of flight, starvation, and diapause. The coordination center for insect lipid metabolism is the fat body, which is analogous to the vertebrate adipose tissue and liver. The fat body is primarily composed of adipocytes, which accumulate triacylglycerols in intracellular lipid droplets. Genomics and proteomics, together with functional analyses, such as RNA interference and CRISPR/Cas9-targeted genome editing, identified various genes involved in lipid metabolism and elucidated their functions. However, the endocrine control of insect lipid metabolism, in particular the roles of peptide hormones in lipogenesis and lipolysis are relatively less-known topics. In the current review, the neuropeptides that directly or indirectly affect insect lipid metabolism are introduced. The primary lipolytic and lipogenic peptide hormones are adipokinetic hormone and the brain insulin-like peptides (ILP2, ILP3, ILP5). Other neuropeptides, such as insulin-growth factor ILP6, neuropeptide F, allatostatin-A, corazonin, leucokinin, tachykinins and limostatin, might stimulate lipolysis, while diapause hormone-pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide, short neuropeptide F, CCHamide-2, and the cytokines Unpaired 1 and Unpaired 2 might induce lipogenesis. Most of these peptides interact with one another, but mostly with insulin signaling, and therefore affect lipid metabolism indirectly. Peptide hormones are also involved in lipid metabolism during reproduction, flight, diapause, starvation, infections and immunity; these are also highlighted. The review concludes with a discussion of the potential of lipid metabolism-related peptide hormones in pest management.

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