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Toxicity of Dithiothreitol (DTT) to Drosophila melanogaster


ABSTRACT: Graphical abstract Highlights • Contact to Dithiothreitol (DTT), a widely used antioxidant, is lethal to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.• At low concentrations, DTT contact induces the expression of some apoptosis genes.• In parallel, DTT triggers the expression of a cuticle barrier gene.• Expression of some genes involved in detoxification is intensified with increasing DTT concentrations.• Toxicity of DTT to the exnvironment should be tested. The thiol-containing compound Dithiothreitol (DTT) has been shown to be toxic to cultured cells by inducing the generation of reactive oxygen species that ultimately cause cell death. However, its effects on multicellular organisms and the environment have not been investigated yet in detail. In this work, we tested the toxicity of DTT to the model insect Drosophila melanogaster. We show that DTT is lethal to D. melanogaster by topical application but not through feeding. DTT treatment triggers the transcription of the canonical apoptosis regulators grim, hid and rpr at low amounts. The amplitude of this induction declines with elevating DTT amounts. By live microscopy, we observe apoptotic cells especially in the gut of DTT treated flies. In parallel, low DTT amounts also activate the expression of the cuticle barrier component gene snsl. This indicates that a physical defence response is launched upon DTT contact. This combined measure is seemingly successful in preventing fly death. The expression of a number of known detoxification genes including cyp6a2, cyp6a8, cyp12d1 and GstD2 is also enhanced through DTT contact. The degree of upregulation of these genes is proportional to the applied DTT amounts. Despite this effort, flies exposed to high amounts of DTT eventually die. Together, D. melanogaster is able to sense DTT toxicity and adjust the defence response successfully at least at low concentrations. This is the first time to analyse the molecular consequences of DTT exposure in a multicellular organism. Our work provides a new model to discuss the physiological response of animals against thiol toxins and to resurvey the effect of redox agents on the environment.

SUBMITTER: Wang Y 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7782319 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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