Expression of Pink1 with α-synuclein in the dopaminergic neurons of Drosophila leads to increases in both lifespan and healthspan

Todd, A.M. and Staveley, Brian E. (2012) Expression of Pink1 with α-synuclein in the dopaminergic neurons of Drosophila leads to increases in both lifespan and healthspan. Genetics and Molecular Research, 116 (2). pp. 1497-1502. ISSN 1676-5680

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Abstract

Overexpression of the gene coding for α-synuclein has been shown to be an inherited cause of Parkinson disease. Our laboratory has previously co-expressed the parkin and Pink1 genes to rescue α-synuclein-induced phenotypes within a Drosophila model. To further investigate the effect of Pink1 in this model, we performed longevity and behavioral studies using several drivers to express the α-synuclein and Pink1 genes. Our findings showed that overexpression of Pink1 and overexpression of Pink1 with α-synuclein resulted in an increased lifespan when driven with the TH-Gal4 transgene. This increase in longevity was accompanied by an increased healthspan, as measured by mobility over time, suggesting that this is an example of improved functional aging. Our results indicate that, in the dopaminergic cells targeted by TH-Gal4, increased expression of α-synuclein and Pink1 together have a synergistic effect, allowing for enhanced protection and increased survival of the organism.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/611
Item ID: 611
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author’s Fund
Keywords: Pink1; α-synuclein; TH-Gal4; Drosophila; Longevity; Healthspan
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 21 May 2012
Date Type: Publication

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