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Hypersensitivity to Oxygen and Shortened Lifespan in a Drosophila mitochondrial Complex II Mutant

David W. Walker, Petr Hájek, Julien Muffat, Dan Knoepfle, Stephanie Cornelison, Giuseppe Attardi and Seymour Benzer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 103, No. 44 (Oct. 31, 2006), pp. 16382-16387
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30052167
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Hypersensitivity to Oxygen and Shortened Lifespan in a Drosophila mitochondrial Complex II Mutant
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Abstract

Oxidative stress is implicated as a major cause of aging and age-related diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, as well as ischemia-reperfusion injury in stroke. The mitochondrial electron transport chain is the principal source of reactive oxygen species within cells. Despite considerable medical interest, the molecular mechanisms that regulate reactive oxygen species formation within the mitochondrion remain poorly understood. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of a Drosophila mutant with a defect in subunit b of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH; mitochondrial complex II). The sdhB mutant is hypersensitive to oxygen and displays hallmarks of a progeroid syndrome, including early-onset mortality and age-related behavioral decay. Pathological analysis of the flight muscle, which is amongst the most highly energetic tissues in the animal kingdom, reveals structural abnormalities in the mitochondria. Biochemical analysis shows that, in the mutant, there is a complex II-specific respiratory defect and impaired complex Ii-mediated electron transport, although the other respiratory complexes remain functionally intact. The complex II defect is associated with an increased level of mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production, suggesting a possible mechanism for the observed sensitivity to elevated oxygen concentration and the decreased lifespan of the mutant fly.

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