Kyle Alyson Chi

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The genes and regulatory activity of the Insulin Receptor Signaling Pathway are highly controlled within tissues that undergo regenerative growth. Recently, the Insulin Receptor Signaling Pathway has been implicated in driving extreme post-feeding organ growth in snakes, but its precise role in this growth remains unknown. Here, we analyzed gene expression before and after feeding in three snake species using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) to identify which specific components of the Insulin Receptor Signaling Pathway are likely involved in regenerative growth. Genes involved with cellular stress response, transcription, and protein synthesis, such as Serum/Glucocorticoid-Regulated Kinase (SGK), Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4E (eIF4E), and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 (TSC2) were uniquely activated in the python and rattlesnake, two species known to exhibit regenerative growth, at one day post feeding. Overall, significant activation of Insulin Receptor Signaling genes and regulatory molecules in regenerative species indicates an active role of insulin receptor signaling during regeneration in snakes and provides a new perspective on Insulin Receptor Signaling regulation of tissue growth in vertebrates. Such unique regulation of these molecules opens doors to future studies and possible solutions for human diseases such as diabetes mellitus and tumor growth.

Publication Date






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