Females with a mutation in a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein pay a higher cost of survival than do males in Drosophila

Richard G. Melvin, J. William O. Ballard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Males and females age at different rates in a variety of species, but the mechanisms underlying the difference is not understood. In this study, we investigated sex-specific costs of a naturally occurring mildly deleterious deletion (ΔTrp85, ΔVal86) in cytochrome c oxidase subunit 7A (cox7A) in Drosophila simulans. We observed that females and males homozygous for the mutation had 30% and 26% reduced Cox activity, respectively, compared with wild type. Furthermore, 4-day-old females had 34%-42% greater physical activity than males. Greater physical activity in mutant females was correlated with a 19% lower 50% survival compared with wild-type females. Mutant and wild-type males had equal survival. These data suggest that females paid a higher cost of the mutation than did males. The data demonstrate linking population genetics and structural modeling to experimental manipulations that lead to functional predictions of mitochondrial bioenergetics and organism aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-770
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume66 A
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Australian Research Council Discovery grant DP110104542 to J.W.O.B.

Keywords

  • Complex IV
  • Cox7A
  • Mutation
  • Oxidative phosphorylation

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