Insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling in C. elegans

WormBook. 2013 Dec 26;1-43. doi: 10.1895/wormbook.1.164.1.


The C. elegans insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway connects nutrient levels to metabolism, growth, development, longevity, and behavior. This fundamental pathway is regulated by insulin-like peptide ligands that bind to the insulin/IGF-1 transmembrane receptor (IGFR) ortholog DAF-2. DAF-2/IGFR controls the activity of a conserved phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt kinase cascade, culminating in the regulation of a FoxO transcription factor, DAF-16, that governs most of the functions of this pathway. In light of the evolutionary conservation of the IIS pathway, its study in C. elegans is likely to shed light on its functions and regulation in higher organisms, including humans. Originally identified based on its role in the regulation of larval development and aging, IIS also controls a host of other biological processes. Here we review what is currently known about the biological functions and the molecular components of C. elegans IIS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • DAF-2 protein, C elegans
  • Receptor, Insulin