Production of reactive oxygen species by the mitochondrial electron transport chain in Drosophila melanogaster

Sanz, A., Stefanatos, R. and McIlroy, G. (2010) Production of reactive oxygen species by the mitochondrial electron transport chain in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes, 42(2), pp. 135-142. (doi: 10.1007/s10863-010-9281-z) (PMID:20300811)

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Mitochondrial free radicals and in particular mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species (mtROS) are considered to be totally or partially responsible for several different diseases including Parkinson, diabetes or cancer. Even more importantly, mtROS have also been proposed as the main driving force behind the aging process. Thus, in the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the role of free radicals as signalling molecules. Collectively this makes understanding mechanisms controlling free radical production extremely important. There is extensive published literature on mammalian models (essentially rat, mouse and guinea pig) however; this is not the case in Drosophila melanogaster. Drosophila is an excellent model to study different physiological and pathological processes. Additionally a robust method to study mtROS is extremely useful. In the present article, we describe a simple—but extremely sensitive—method to study mtROS production in Drosophila. We have performed various experiments to determine which specific respiratory complexes produce free radicals in the electron transport chain of Drosophila melanogaster. Complex I is the main generator of ROS in Drosophila mitochondria, leaking electrons either in the forward or reverse direction. The production of ROS during reverse electron transport can be prevented either by rotenone or by the oxidation of NADH by complex I. These results clearly show that Drosophila mitochondria function in a very similar way to mammalian mitochondria, and therefore are a very relevant experimental model for biochemical studies related to ageing.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sanz Montero, Professor Alberto
Authors: Sanz, A., Stefanatos, R., and McIlroy, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
ISSN (Online):1573-6881
Published Online:19 March 2010

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