Peptidergic neurosecretory cells in insects: organization and control by the bHLH protein DIMMED

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2009 May 15;162(1):2-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2008.12.012. Epub 2008 Dec 24.


This review considers evidence that defines a role for the transcription factor DIMMED in the regulation of insect neurosecretory cells. Genetic anatomical and molecular data all suggest DIMMED is a dedicated controller of the regulated secretory pathway. DIMM is normally expressed within diverse neuropeptide-expressing cells and appears highly correlated with a neurosecretory cell fate. Loss of DIMM is associated with deficits in display of neuropeptides and neuropeptide-associated enzymes. Gain of DIMM promotes such display in peptidergic cells and can confer such neurosecretory properties onto conventional neurons. We review models proposed to explain how DIMMED regulates these essential cellular properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Models, Genetic
  • Neurosecretory Systems / cytology
  • Neurosecretory Systems / metabolism*
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Peptides
  • dimm protein, Drosophila