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Suda, K., Ueoka, I., Azuma, Y., Muraoka, Y., Yoshida, H., Yamaguchi, M. (2018). Novel Drosophila model for mitochondrial diseases by targeting of a solute carrier protein SLC25A46.  Brain Res. 1689(): 30--44.
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Mutations in SLC25A46 gene have been identified in mitochondrial diseases that are sometimes classified as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2, optic atrophy and Leigh syndrome. Human SLC25A46 functions as a transporter across the outer mitochondrial membrane. However, it is still unknown how the neurodegeneration occurring in these diseases relates to the loss of SLC25A46 function. Drosophila has CG5755 (dSLC25A46) as a single human SLC25A46 homolog. Here we established pan-neuron specific dSLC25A46 knockdown flies, and examined their phenotypes. Neuron specific knockdown of dSLC25A46 resulted in an impaired motility in both larvae and adults. Defects at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), such as reduced synaptic branch length, decreased number and size of bouton, reduced density and size of active zone were also observed with the dSLC25A46 knockdown flies. Mitochondrial hyperfusion in synapse at NMJ, accumulation of reactive oxygen species and reduction of ATP were also observed in the dSLC25A46 knockdown flies. These results indicate that depletion of SLC25A46 induces mitochondrial defects accompanied with aberrant morphology of motoneuron and reduction of active zone that results in defect in locomotive ability. In addition, it is known that SLC25A46 mutations in human cause optic atrophy and knockdown of dSLC25A46 induces aberrant morphology of optic stalk of photoreceptor neurons in third instar larvae. Morphology and development of optic stalk of photoreceptor neurons in Drosophila are precisely regulated via cell proliferation and migration. Immunocytochemical analyses of subcellular localization of dSLC25A46 revealed that dSLC25A46 localizes not only in mitochondria, but also in plasma membrane. These observations suggest that in addition to the role in mitochondrial function, plasma membrane-localized dSLC25A46 plays a role in cell proliferation and/or migration to control optic stalk formation. The dSLC25A46 knockdown fly thus recapitulates most of the phenotypes in mitochondrial disease patients, providing a useful tool to study these diseases.

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    Brain Res.
    Brain Research
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    Alleles (6)
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    Transgenic Constructs (5)