Garcia 2019 MiPschool Coimbra

From Bioblast
Jump to: navigation, search
Geovana Garcia
Functional interactions between the Drosophila melanogaster mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and a xenotopically expressed alternative oxidase.

Link: MitoEAGLE

Garcia GS, Oliveira MT (2019)

Event: MiPschool Coimbra 2019


Although the alternative oxidase (AOX) is naturally absent in the mitochondria of vertebrates and insects, its xenotopic expression in model organisms can attenuate diverse phenotypes related to mitochondrial diseases, as this creates an extra path for oxygen reduction when the cytochrome c segment of the electron transfer system (ETS) is overloaded. Due to its non-proton-pumping nature, AOX activity in plants is clearly associated with thermogenesis [1]. We have recently reported that AOX-expressing flies develop faster and have higher viability than control flies at low temperatures [2], indicating that AOX is also thermogenic in Drosophila and/or it can release developmental constraints imposed on the ETS.

To test which of these mechanisms play a role in this AOX-induced cold advantage during development, we measured mitochondrial oxygen consumption on larval homogenates of the wild-type w1118 and the 3XtubAOX line [3], at 12 and 25°C. Surprisingly, no differences in coupled respiration and state 3/state 4 ratio were detected when substrates to the two main dehydrogenases in flies, complex I (CI) and mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (mGPDH), were used concomitantly. In addition, AOX inhibition with n-propyl-gallate did not affect respiration in these conditions. However, when measured separately, CI- and mGPDH-driven coupled respiration at 12 and 25°C diverged in AOX flies, the former being ~48% higher and the latter ~33% lower than in w1118 flies. At 12°C, AOX inhibition led to a ~37% decrease in mGPDH-driven coupled respiration, and to a ~30% decrease in mGPDH-driven leak respiration.

Our data suggests that AOX-expressing larvae are producing heat via mGPDH-AOX functional interactions, which uncouple mitochondria. To compensate for ATP not produced by the mGPDH action, these flies increase oxidative phosphorylation through the CI pathway. At low temperatures, this configuration becomes highly functional, especially because mGPDH appears naturally less sensitive to cold [4]. Since mGPDH directly connects cytosolic processes with ETS, we can predict that the cellular redox state of the larvae is altered in the presence of AOX, affecting other metabolic processes at low temperatures. Furthermore, higher CI-driven coupled respiration could be a result of an increase in the tricarboxylic acid cycle reactions, which in turn would accelerate larval growth via increased cataplerosis. In combination, our data supports mGPDH-linked thermogenesis and CI-linked accelerated cataplerosis as explanations for the increase in fitness observed for AOX-expressing flies at low temperatures.

Bioblast editor: Plangger M O2k-Network Lab: BR Jaboticabal Oliveira MT

Labels: MiParea: Respiration, Developmental biology 

Organism: Drosophila 

Coupling state: LEAK, OXPHOS  Pathway: N, Gp  HRR: Oxygraph-2k 


Dept Technology, Sao Paulo State Univ-Jaboticabal campus, Graduate Program Biosciences, Sao Paulo State Univ-São José do Rio Preto campus, SP, Brazil. – [email protected]; [email protected]


  1. Wagner AM, Krab K, Wagner MJ, Moore AL (2008) Regulation of thermogenesis in flowering Araceae: the role of the alternative oxidase. Biochim Biophys Acta 1777:993-1000.
  2. Saari S, Garcia GS, Bremer K, Chioda MM, Andjelkovic A, Debes PV, Nikinmaa M, Szibor M, Dufour E, Rustin P, Oliveira MT, Jacobs HT (2019) Alternative respiratory chain enzymes: therapeutic potential and possible pitfalls. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 1865:854-66.
  3. Kemppainen KK, Rinne J, Sriram A, Lakanmaa M, Zeb A, Tuomela T, Popplestone A, Singh S, Sanz A, Rustin P, Jacobs HT (2014) Expression of alternative oxidase in Drosophila ameliorates diverse phenotypes due to cytochrome oxidase deficiency. Hum Mol Genet 15:2078-93.
  4. Masson SWC, Hedges CP, Devaux JBL, Jame CS, Hickey AJR (2017) Mitochondrial glycerol 3-phosphate facilitates bumblebee pre-flight thermogenesis. Sci Rep 7:13107.