Forcing contacts between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum extends lifespan in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Martins, L., & Loh, S. (2019). Forcing contacts between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum extends lifespan in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s disease.. Biology Open, (bio.047530)https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.047530
cells are complex systems containing internal compartments with specialised functions. Among these compartments, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays a major role in processing proteins for modification and delivery to other organelles, whereas mitochondria generate energy in the form of ATP. Mitochondria and the ER form physical interactions, defined as mitochondria-ER contact sites (MERCS) to exchange metabolites such as calcium ions (Ca2+) and lipids. Sites of contact between mitochondria and the ER can regulate biological processes such as ATP generation and mitochondrial division. The interactions between mitochondria and the ER are dynamic and respond to the metabolic state of cells. Changes in MERCS have been linked to metabolic pathologies such as diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and sleep disruption. Here we explored the consequences of increasing contacts between mitochondria and the ER in flies using a synthetic linker. We showed that enhancing MERCS increases locomotion and extends lifespan. We also showed that, in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s disease linked to toxic amyloid beta (Aβ), linker expression can suppress motor impairment and extend lifespan. We conclude that strategies for increasing contacts between mitochondria and the ER may improve symptoms of diseases associated with mitochondria dysfunction.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.047530
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/300750
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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