Preparation of Mitochondrial Enriched Fractions for Metabolic Analysis in Drosophila

J Vis Exp. 2015 Sep 30;(103):53149. doi: 10.3791/53149.


Since mitochondria play roles in amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and fatty acid oxidation, defects in mitochondrial function often compromise the lives of those who suffer from these complex diseases. Detecting mitochondrial metabolic changes is vital to the understanding of mitochondrial disorders and mitochondrial responses to pharmacological agents. Although mitochondrial metabolism is at the core of metabolic regulation, the detection of subtle changes in mitochondrial metabolism may be hindered by the overrepresentation of other cytosolic metabolites obtained using whole organism or whole tissue extractions. Here we describe an isolation method that detected pronounced mitochondrial metabolic changes in Drosophila that were distinct between whole-fly and mitochondrial enriched preparations. To illustrate the sensitivity of this method, we used a set of Drosophila harboring genetically diverse mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNA) and exposed them to the drug rapamycin. Using this method we showed that rapamycin modifies mitochondrial metabolism in a mitochondrial-genotype-dependent manner. However, these changes are much more distinct in metabolomics studies when metabolites were extracted from mitochondrial enriched fractions. In contrast, whole tissue extracts only detected metabolic changes mediated by the drug rapamycin independently of mtDNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • DNA, Mitochondrial