The insulin signaling network has an essential role in growth, reproduction, and aging. Insulin-like growth factors, or IGFs, are important protein hormones within this network and are typically conserved across vertebrates. However, some proteins in the insulin signaling network have experienced selection in reptiles. Also, not a whole lot is known about the specific functions of components of this network within reptiles.
Amanda Clark, a PhD student in Dr. Tonia Schwartz‘s lab at Auburn University, investigated the the function of purified IGFs on cell function for brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) and crested anoles (Anolis cristatellus). She had five different treatments for cell plates from both species: brown anole (BA) IGF-1, BA IGF-2, green anole IGF-1, a positive control, and a negative control. Cell proliferation was not different among all of the treatments, possibly due to incorrect protein folding or low concentrations of IGF. As expected, cell viability was also not affect by the IGFs. In the future, this experiment will be conducted again with increased sample size and an improved positive control.