Carbonylation of mitochondrial proteins in Drosophila melanogaster during aging

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Nov 16;363(2):418-24. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.08.193. Epub 2007 Sep 14.


Age-related changes in carbonylation of mitochondrial proteins were determined in mitochondria from the flight muscles of Drosophila melanogaster. Reactivity with antibodies against (i) adducts of dinitrophenyl hydrazone (DNP), commonly assumed to react broadly with derivatized carbonyl groups, (ii) malondialdehyde (MDA), or (iii) hydroxynonenal (HNE), was compared at five different ages of flies. MDA and HNE are carbonyl-containing products of lipid peroxidation, which can form covalent adducts with proteins. Specific objectives were to address the following inter-related issues: (1) what are the sources of adducts involved in protein carbonylation in mitochondria during aging; (2) is carbonylation by different adducts detectable solely by the DNP antibodies, as assumed widely; (3) can the adducts formed by lipid peroxidation products in vivo, be used as markers for monitoring age-associated changes in oxidative damage to proteins. The total amounts of immunoreactive proteins, detected by all three antibodies, were found to increase with age; however, the immunodensity of individual reactive bands and the magnitude of the increases were variable, and unrelated to the relative abundance of a protein. While some protein bands were strongly immunopositive for all three antibodies, others were quite selective. The amounts of high molecular weight cross-linked proteins (>200kDa) increased with age. In general, the anti-HNE antibody reacted with more protein bands compared to the anti-MDA or -DNP antibody. The results suggest that sources of the carbonyl-containing protein adducts vary and no single antibody reacts with all of them. Overall, the results indicate that HNE shows robust age-associated increases in adductation with mitochondrial proteins, and is a good marker for monitoring protein oxidative damage during aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / physiology*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Protein Carbonylation / physiology*


  • Mitochondrial Proteins