Lipidome unsaturation affects the morphology and proteome of the Drosophila eye

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 May 8:2023.05.07.539765. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.07.539765.


While the proteome of an organism is largely determined by the genome, the lipidome is shaped by a poorly understood interplay of environmental factors and metabolic processes. To gain insights into the underlying mechanisms, we analyzed the impacts of dietary lipid manipulations on the ocular proteome of Drosophila melanogaster . We manipulated the lipidome with synthetic food media that differed in the supplementation of an equal amount of saturated or polyunsaturated triacylglycerols. This allowed us to generate flies whose eyes had a highly contrasting length and unsaturation of glycerophospholipids, the major lipid class of biological membranes, while the abundance of other membrane lipid classes remained unchanged. By bioinformatically comparing the resulting ocular proteomic trends and contrasting them with the impacts of vitamin A deficiency, we identified ocular proteins whose abundances are differentially affected by lipid saturation and unsaturation. For instance, we unexpectedly identified a group of proteins that have muscle-related functions and increase their abundances in the eye upon lipidome unsaturation but are unaffected by lipidome saturation. Moreover, we identified two differentially lipid-responsive proteins involved in stress responses, Turandot A and Smg5, whose abundances decrease with lipid unsaturation. Lastly, we discovered that the ocular lipid class composition is robust to dietary changes and propose that this may be a general homeostatic feature of the organization of eukaryotic tissues, while the length and unsaturation of fatty acid moieties is more variable to compensate environmental challenges. We anticipate that these insights into the molecular responses of the Drosophila eye proteome to specific lipid manipulations will guide the genetic dissection of the mechanisms that maintain visual function when the eye is exposed to dietary challenges.

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  • Preprint