Insulin and JNK: optimizing metabolic homeostasis and lifespan

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Apr;20(3):100-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2008.11.004. Epub 2009 Feb 27.


Metabolic adaptation to environmental changes is crucial for the long-term survival of an organism. Signaling mechanisms that govern this adaptation thus influence lifespan. One such mechanism is the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) pathway, a central regulator of metabolism in metazoans. Recent studies have identified the stress-responsive Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway as a regulator of IIS signaling, providing a link between environmental challenges and metabolic regulation. JNK inhibits IIS activity and, thus, promotes lifespan extension and stress tolerance. Interestingly, this interaction is also at the center of age-related metabolic diseases. Here, we review recent advances illuminating the mechanisms of the JNK-IIS interaction and its implications for metabolic diseases and lifespan in metazoans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin / physiology
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Insulin
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases