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Expression of Ixodes scapularis Antifreeze Glycoprotein Enhances Cold Tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
7
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033447
Keywords
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Cryobiology
  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Model Organisms
  • Animal Models
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Signaling Cascades
  • Signaling In Cellular Processes
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Drosophila melanogaster experience cold shock injury and die when exposed to low non-freezing temperatures. In this study, we generated transgenic D. melanogaster that express putative Ixodes scapularis antifreeze glycoprotein (IAFGP) and show that the presence of IAFGP increases the ability of flies to survive in the cold. Male and female adult iafgp-expressing D. melanogaster exhibited higher survival rates compared with controls when placed at non-freezing temperatures. Increased hatching rates were evident in embryos expressing IAFGP when exposed to the cold. The TUNEL assay showed that flight muscles from iafgp-expressing female adult flies exhibited less apoptotic damage upon exposure to non-freezing temperatures in comparison to control flies. Collectively, these data suggest that expression of iafgp increases cold tolerance in flies by preventing apoptosis. This study defines a molecular basis for the role of an antifreeze protein in cryoprotection of flies.

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