Monday, December 11, 2017

Studies in Drosophila among those contributing to content included in DrugAge database

Barardo D, Thornton D, Thoppil H, Walsh M, Sharifi S, Ferreira S, Anžič A, Fernandes M, Monteiro P, Grum T, Cordeiro R, De-Souza EA, Budovsky A, Araujo N, Gruber J, Petrascheck M, Fraifeld VE, Zhavoronkov A, Moskalev A, de Magalhães JP. The DrugAge database of aging-related drugs. Aging Cell. 2017 Jun;16(3):594-597. PMID: 28299908; PMCID: PMC5418190.

From the abstract: "Aging is a major worldwide medical challenge. Not surprisingly, identifying drugs and compounds that extend lifespan in model organisms is a growing research area. Here, we present DrugAge (, a curated database of lifespan-extending drugs and compounds. At the time of writing, DrugAge contains 1316 entries featuring 418 different compounds from studies across 27 model organisms, including worms, flies, yeast and mice. Data were manually curated from 324 publications. ... DrugAge is freely available online for the scientific community and will be an important resource for biogerontologists."

Diet-based Drosophila model of kidney stones

Chung VY, Turney BW. A Drosophila genetic model of nephrolithiasis: transcriptional changes in response to diet induced stone formation. BMC Urol. 2017 Nov 28;17(1):109. PMID: 29183349; PMCID: PMC5706311.

From the abstract: "... We have used Drosophila as a genetic model to study the transcriptional response to stone formation secondary to dietary manipulation. ... Wild-type male flies were raised on standard medium supplemented with lithogenic agents: control, sodium oxalate (NaOx) and ethylene glycol (EG). ... Crystal formation was visualized in 20%(±2.2) of flies on control diet, 73%(±3.6) on NaOx diet and 84%(±2.2) on EG diet. ... Fifty-eight genes were differentially expressed (FDR <0.05, p < 0.05) in NaOx diet and 20 genes in EG diet. ... This genetic model could be potentially used to identify the candidate genes that influence stone risk hence providing more insight to the pathogenesis of human stone disease."

Study using a Drosophila model of traumatic brain injury suggests link to mitochondrial activity

Sen A, Gurdziel K, Liu J, Qu W, Nuga OO, Burl RB, Hüttemann M, Pique-Regi R, Ruden DM. Smooth, an hnRNP-L Homolog, Might Decrease Mitochondrial Metabolism by Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Isocitrate Dehydrogenase (Idh) and Other Metabolic Genes in the Sub-Acute Phase of Traumatic Brain Injury. Front Genet. 2017 Nov 15;8:175. PMID: 29187863; PMCID: PMC5694756.

From the abstract: "Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause persistent pathological alteration of neurons. ... To investigate the underlying genetic and molecular basis of TBI, we subjected w1118 Drosophila melanogaster to mild closed head trauma and found that mitochondrial activity is reduced in the brains of these flies 24 h after inflicting trauma. To determine the transcriptomic changes after mild TBI, we collected fly heads 24 h after inflicting trauma, and performed RNA-seq analyses. ... Based on these results, we propose a model in which TBI temporarily decreases mitochondrial activity in the brain 24 h after inflicting trauma ... We further propose that decreasing metabolism after TBI in such a manner is a protective mechanism that gives the brain time to repair cellular damage induced by TBI."

Friday, December 8, 2017

"Proboscus extension response" developed in fly study relevant to Parkinsons disease

Cording AC, Shiaelis N, Petridi S, Middleton CA, Wilson LG, Elliott CJH. Targeted kinase inhibition relieves slowness and tremor in a Drosophila model of LRRK2 Parkinson's disease. NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2017 Dec 4;3:34. PMID: 29214211; PMCID: PMC5715132.

From the abstract: "In a number of Drosophila models of genetic Parkinson's disease (PD) flies climb more slowly than wild-type controls. However, this assay does not distinguish effects of PD-related genes on gravity sensation, "arousal", central pattern generation of leg movements, or muscle. To address this problem, we have developed an assay for the fly proboscis extension response (PER). This is attractive because the PER has a simple, well-identified reflex neural circuit ... We conclude the Drosophila PER provides an excellent model of LRRK2 motor deficits showing bradykinesia, akinesia, hypokinesia, and increased tremor, with the possibility to localize changes in neural signaling."