Experimental selection of hypoxia-tolerant Drosophila melanogaster.

TitleExperimental selection of hypoxia-tolerant Drosophila melanogaster.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsZhou D, Udpa N, Gersten M, Visk DAW, Bashir A, Xue J, Frazer KA, Posakony JW, Subramaniam S, Bafna V, Haddad GG
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published2011 Feb 8
KeywordsAdaptation, Physiological, Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases, Animals, Anoxia, Chromosomes, Insect, Dipeptides, DNA, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila Proteins, Mutation, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Receptors, Notch, Selection, Genetic, X Chromosome

Through long-term laboratory selection (over 200 generations), we have generated Drosophila melanogaster populations that tolerate severe, normally lethal, levels of hypoxia. Because of initial experiments suspecting genetic mechanisms underlying this adaptation, we compared the genomes of the hypoxia-selected flies with those of controls using deep resequencing. By applying unique computing and analytical methods we identified a number of DNA regions under selection, mostly on the X chromosome. Several of the hypoxia-selected regions contained genes encoding or regulating the Notch pathway. In addition, previous expression profiling revealed an activation of the Notch pathway in the hypoxia-selected flies. We confirmed the contribution of Notch activation to hypoxia tolerance using a specific γ-secretase inhibitor, N-[N-(3,5-Difluorophenacetyl)-L-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT), which significantly reduced adult survival and life span in the hypoxia-selected flies. We also demonstrated that flies with loss-of-function Notch mutations or RNAi-mediated Notch knockdown had a significant reduction in hypoxia tolerance, but those with a gain-of-function had a dramatic opposite effect. Using the UAS-Gal4 system, we also showed that specific overexpression of the Notch intracellular domain in glial cells was critical for conferring hypoxia tolerance. Unique analytical tools and genetic and bioinformatic strategies allowed us to discover that Notch activation plays a major role in this hypoxia tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster.

PubMed URLhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21262834?dopt=Abstract
Alternate TitleProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PubMed ID21262834