Estivation is an adaptive stress response utilized by some amphibians during periods of drought in the summer season. In this study, we examine the regulation of the insulin signaling cascade and glycolysis pathway in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis during the dehydration stress induced state of estivation. We show that in the brain and heart of X. laevis, dehydration reduces the phosphorylation of the insulin growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), and this is followed by similar reductions in the phosphorylation of the Akt and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase. Interestingly, phosphorylation levels of IGF-1R and mTOR were not affected in the kidney, and phosphorylation levels of P70S6K and the ribosomal S6 protein were elevated during dehydration stress. Animals under estivation are also susceptible to periods of hypoxia, suggesting that glycolysis may also be affected. We observed that protein levels of many glycolytic enzymes remained unchanged during dehydration; however, the hypoxia response factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) protein was elevated by greater than twofold in the heart during dehydration. Overall, we provide evidence that shows that the insulin signaling pathway in X. laevis is regulated in a tissue-specific manner during dehydration stress and suggests an important role for this signaling cascade in mediating the estivation response.

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Keywords Desiccation, Estivation, HIF-1, Metabolic depression, MTOR
Persistent URL
Journal Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Wu, C.-W. (Cheng-Wei), Tessier, S.N. (Shannon N.), & Storey, K. (2017). Regulation of the insulin-Akt signaling pathway and glycolysis during dehydration stress in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 95(6), 663–671. doi:10.1139/bcb-2017-0117