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Biol Open. 2019 Jul 19;8(7). pii: bio042135. doi: 10.1242/bio.042135.

Minimal effects of spargel (PGC-1) overexpression in a Drosophila mitochondrial disease model.

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Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, FI-33014 Tampere University, Finland.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, FI-33014 Tampere University, Finland


PGC-1α and its homologues have been proposed to act as master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis in animals. Most relevant studies have been conducted in mammals, where interpretation is complicated by the fact that there are three partially redundant members of the gene family. In Drosophila, only a single PGC-1 homologue, spargel (srl), is present in the genome. Here, we analyzed the effects of srl overexpression on phenotype and on gene expression in tko25t , a recessive bang-sensitive mutant with a global defect in oxidative phosphorylation, resulting from a deficiency of mitochondrial protein synthesis. In contrast to previous reports, we found that substantial overexpression of srl throughout development had only minimal effects on the tko25 t mutant phenotype. Copy number of mtDNA was unaltered and srl overexpression produced no systematic effects on a representative set of transcripts related to mitochondrial OXPHOS and other metabolic enzymes, although these were influenced by sex and genetic background. This study provides no support to the concept of Spargel as a global regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, at least in the context of the tko25t model.


Mitochondria; Mitochondrial biogenesis; Mitochondrial disease; Transcriptional co-activator

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare no competing or financial interests.

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