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Age-dependent expression profiles of two adaptogenic systems and thermotolerance in Drosophila melanogaster


Here, we monitored the expression of three genes (hsp70, hsp22, and hsf1) involved in heat shock response in Drosophila melanogaster in males and females of different age. Also, we investigated age- and sex-dependent expression of three major genes participating in the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) (cse, cbs, and mst), implicated in stress resistance and aging. In addition to the control strain, we monitored the expression of all of these genes in a cbs knockout strain (cbs−/−) generated using the CRISPR technique. The tested strains differ in the induction capacities of the studied genes. Relative to the control strain, under normal conditions, the cbs−/− strain expresses all of the studied genes more abundantly, especially hsp22. In the control strain, aging leads to a dramatic increase in hsp22 synthesis, whereas in the cbs−/− strain, hsp22 induction is not pronounced. Furthermore, in 30-day-old cbs−/− flies, the constitutive expression of hsp70 and mst is decreased. Surprisingly, in the cbs−/− strain, we detected an upregulation of hsf1 transcription in the 30-day-old females. After heat shock in the control strain, hsp70 and hsp22 induction decreased with age in males and hsp22 decreased in females, while in the cbs−/− strain, a pronounced drop in the induction capacity of both hsp genes was seen in 30-day-old males and females. However, in most cases, the expression levels of hsf1 and H2S-producing genes do not exhibit pronounced changes depending on sex, age, or heat shock. Flies of control and cbs−/− strain exhibited strong reduction in basal thermotolerance with age. Our data suggest a cross-talk between the two studied ancient and universal adaptive systems.

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We are grateful to Alexander Rezvykh for technical help with illustrations and to Dr. Oxana Maximenko for providing stocks for CRISPR experiments and help with microinjections.


The work was supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation #17-74-30030, Russian Foundation for Basic Research #18-29-07015, and Russian Foundation for Basic Research #18-04-00865.

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Correspondence to M. Evgen’ev.

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Shilova, V., Zatsepina, O., Zakluta, A. et al. Age-dependent expression profiles of two adaptogenic systems and thermotolerance in Drosophila melanogaster. Cell Stress and Chaperones (2020).

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  • D. melanogaster
  • hsp genes
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • cbs deletion
  • Aging
  • Heat shock