Aβ42 Expressing Drosophila melanogaster Model for Alzheimer's Disease: Quantitative Proteomics Identifies Altered Protein Dynamics of Relevance to Neurodegeneration

OMICS. 2022 Jan;26(1):51-63. doi: 10.1089/omi.2021.0173. Epub 2022 Jan 7.


Production and deposition of β-amyloid peptides (Aβ) are among the major hallmarks of the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Mapping the altered protein dynamics associated with Aβ accumulation and neuronal damage may open up new avenues to innovation for drug target discovery in AD. Using quantitative proteomics, we report new findings from the amyloid beta-peptide with 42 amino acids (Aβ42) expressing Drosophila melanogaster model for AD compared to that of the wild-type flies. We identified 302,241 peptide-spectrum matches with 25,641 nonredundant peptides corresponding to 7959 D. melanogaster proteins. Furthermore, we unraveled 538 significantly altered proteins in Aβ42 expressing flies. These differentially expressed proteins were enriched for biological processes associated with neuronal damage leading to AD progression. We also identified 463 unique post-translational modification events mapping to 202 proteins from the same dataset. Among these, 303 modified peptides corresponding to 246 proteins were also altered in the AD model. These modified proteins are known to be involved in the disruption of molecular functions maintaining neuronal plasticity. This study provides new molecular leads on altered protein dynamics relevant to neurodegeneration, neuroplasticity, and AD progression induced by Aβ42 toxicity. These proteins may prove useful to discover new drugs in an AD model of D. melanogaster and evaluate their efficacy and mode of molecular action in the future.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease model; Drosophila melanogaster; amyloid toxicity; drug targets; neurodegeneration; quantitative proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drosophila Proteins* / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins* / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proteomics


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)