Schematic showing the main organs that express kisspeptin (magenta) and/or its receptor (blue) in mammals (left panel) and sea cucumbers (right panel). The binding of kisspeptin (Kiss) to its receptor (KissR) triggers an intracellular pathway which sequentially activates the signaling molecules Ca2+/Gq/PLC/PKC/MAPK. This stimulates a molecule called ERK1/2 which regulates a number of cellular processes, including gene expression (center panel). Wang et al. showed that the signaling cascade triggered by kisspeptin regulates similar biological processes in mammals and sea cucumbers, such as reproduction, glucose metabolism and body mass.
Image credit: Maria I Arnone.