Basic Biology of Aging: Hyperploidy and cell cycle re-entry in the aging Drosophila brain
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Laura Buttitta, PhD
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
University of Michigan
- Faculty Sponsor
Dana Miller, PhD
Hyperploidy and cell cycle re-entry in the aging Drosophila brain
Cell cycle re-entry of postmitotic cells in the brain has been suggested to underlie age-related cognitive decline and neurodegeneration. Patients with neurodegeneration exhibit hyperploid neurons and gene expression analysis of aged brains has shown aberrant cell cycle gene reactivation in organisms ranging from flies to humans. Despite a long history of literature describing this correlation, the mechanism(s) of how aging impacts cell cycle re-entry in the brain and its consequences on aging-associated neurodegeneration remains unknown. We recently discovered that under normal physiological conditions the aging adult fly brain exhibits age-associated hyperploidy, making it an excellent model system to study this process. Our work thus far indicates that cell cycle re-entry occurs in multiple cell types, peaks at middle age, and can precede neurodegenerative phenotypes. Based upon these observations, we are developing new assays to monitor and genetically manipulate cell cycle re-entry in the adult fly brain. Importantly our approach is distinct from other Drosophila-based models of neurodegeneration, as we assay and manipulate cell cycle re-entry in the absence of ectopic expression of disease-associated mutant proteins.
The Basic Biology of Aging seminar series is sponsored by The Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, the Genetic Approaches to Aging Training Grant, and the UW Healthy Aging and Longevity (HALo) Research Institute. The seminar features guest speakers presenting the latest research in the basic biology of aging.