Detection of genetically altered copper levels in Drosophila tissues by synchrotron x-ray fluorescence microscopy

Jessica Lye, Ern Hwang, David Paterson, Martin Daly de Jonge, Daryl Howard, Richard Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tissue-specific manipulation of known copper transport genes in Drosophila tissues results in phenotypes that are presumably due to an alteration in copper levels in the targeted cells. However direct confirmation of this has to date been technically challenging. Measures of cellular copper content such as expression levels of copper-responsive genes or cuproenzyme activity levels, while useful, are indirect. First-generation copper-sensitive fluorophores show promise but currently lack the sensitivity required to detect subtle changes in copper levels. Moreover such techniques do not provide information regarding other relevant biometals such as zinc or iron. Traditional techniques for measuring elemental composition such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy are not sensitive enough for use with the small tissue amounts available in Drosophila research. Here we present synchrotron x-ray fluorescence microscopy analysis of two different Drosophila tissues, the larval wing imaginal disc, and sectioned adult fly heads and show that this technique can be used to detect changes in tissue copper levels caused by targeted manipulation of known copper homeostasis genes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26867
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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