Overexpression of a Drosophila homolog of apolipoprotein D leads to increased stress resistance and extended lifespan.
Increased Apolipoprotein D (ApoD) expression has been reported in various neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and stroke, and in the aging brain . However, whether ApoD is toxic or a defense is unknown. In a screen to identify genes that protect Drosophila against acute oxidative stress, we isolated a fly homolog of ApoD, Glial Lazarillo (GLaz). In independent transgenic lines, overexpression of GLaz resulted in increased resistance to hyperoxia (100% O(2)) as well as a 29% extension of lifespan under normoxia. These flies also displayed marked improvements in climbing and walking ability after sublethal exposure to hyperoxia. Overexpression of Glaz also increased resistance to starvation without altering lipid or protein content. To determine whether GLaz might be important in protection against reperfusion injury, we subjected the flies to hypoxia, followed by recovery under normoxia. Overexpression of GLaz was protective against behavioral deficits caused in normal flies by this ischemia/reperfusion paradigm. This and the accompanying paper by Sanchez et al. (in this issue of Current Biology) are the first to manipulate the levels of an ApoD homolog in a model organism. Our data suggest that human ApoD may play a protective role and thus may constitute a therapeutic target to counteract certain neurological diseases.
Walker, DW; Muffat, J; Rundel, C; Benzer, S
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