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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 758564, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/758564
Research Article

Use of Drosophila as an Evaluation Method Reveals imp as a Candidate Gene for Type 2 Diabetes in Rat Locus Niddm22

1Division of Natural Sciences, Department of Life Science, International Christian University, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8585, Japan
2Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata University, Niigata 950-2181, Japan
3Department of Animal Medical Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto 603-8555, Japan

Received 7 October 2014; Revised 3 January 2015; Accepted 3 January 2015

Academic Editor: Mark A. Yorek

Copyright © 2015 Kurenai Kawasaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is one of the most common human diseases. QTL analysis of the diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats has identified numerous hyperglycemic loci. However, molecular characterization and/or gene identification largely remains to be elucidated due mostly to the weak genetic variances contributed by each locus. Here we utilized Drosophila melanogaster as a secondary model organism for functional evaluation of the candidate gene. We demonstrate that the tissue specific knockdown of a homologue of igf2bp2 RNA binding protein leads to increased sugar levels similar to that found in the OLETF rat. In the mutant, the expression of two of the insulin-like peptides encoded in the fly genome, dilp2 and dilp3, were found to be downregulated. Consistent with previous reports of dilp mutants, the imp mutant flies exhibited an extension of life span; in contrast, starvation tolerance was reduced. These results further reinforce the possibility that imp is involved in sugar metabolism by modulating insulin expression.