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Spen modulates lipid droplet content in adult Drosophila glial cells and protects against paraquat toxicity

Abstract : Glial cells are early sensors of neuronal injury and can store lipids in lipid droplets under oxidative stress conditions. Here, we investigated the functions of the RNA-binding protein, SPEN/SHARP, in the context of Parkinson's disease (PD). Using a data-mining approach, we found that SPEN/SHARP is one of many astrocyte-expressed genes that are significantly differentially expressed in the substantia nigra of PD patients compared with control subjects. Interestingly, the differentially expressed genes are enriched in lipid metabolism-associated genes. In a Drosophila model of PD, we observed that flies carrying a loss-of-function allele of the ortholog split-ends (spen) or with glial cell-specific, but not neuronal-specific, spen knockdown were more sensitive to paraquat intoxication, indicating a protective role for Spen in glial cells. We also found that Spen is a positive regulator of Notch signaling in adult Drosophila glial cells. Moreover, Spen was required to limit abnormal accumulation of lipid droplets in glial cells in a manner independent of its regulation of Notch signaling. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Spen regulates lipid metabolism and storage in glial cells and contributes to glial cell-mediated neuroprotection.
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Contributor : Sabine Rossi <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 4:45:13 PM
Last modification on : Monday, June 7, 2021 - 1:55:26 PM


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Victor Girard, Valérie Goubard, Matthieu Querenet, Laurent Seugnet, Laurent Pays, et al.. Spen modulates lipid droplet content in adult Drosophila glial cells and protects against paraquat toxicity. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-76891-9⟩. ⟨hal-03152587⟩



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