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Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

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BMC Genomics



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Background: Aging is accompanied with loss of tissue homeostasis and accumulation of cellular damages. As one of the important metabolic centers, liver shows age-related dysregulation of lipid metabolism, impaired detoxification pathway, increased inflammation and oxidative stress response. However, the mechanisms for these age-related changes still remain unclear. In the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, liver-like functions are controlled by two distinct tissues, fat body and oenocytes. Compared to fat body, little is known about how oenocytes age and what are their roles in aging regulation. To characterize age- and stress-regulated gene expression in oenocytes, we performed celltype- specific ribosome profiling (RiboTag) to examine the impacts of aging and oxidative stress on oenocyte translatome in Drosophila.

Results: We show that aging and oxidant paraquat significantly increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in adult oenocytes of Drosophila, and aged oenocytes exhibited reduced sensitivity to paraquat treatment. Through RiboTag sequencing, we identified 3324 and 949 differentially expressed genes in oenocytes under aging and paraquat treatment, respectively. Aging and paraquat exhibit both shared and distinct regulations on oenocyte translatome. Among all age-regulated genes, oxidative phosphorylation, ribosome, proteasome, fatty acid metabolism, and cytochrome P450 pathways were down-regulated, whereas DNA replication and immune response pathways were up-regulated. In addition, most of the peroxisomal genes were down-regulated in aged oenocytes, including genes involved in peroxisomal biogenesis factors and fatty acid beta-oxidation. Many age-related mRNA translational changes in oenocytes are similar to aged mammalian liver, such as up-regulation of innate immune response and Ras/ MAPK signaling pathway and down-regulation of peroxisome and fatty acid metabolism. Furthermore, oenocytes highly expressed genes involving in liver-like processes (e.g., ketogenesis).

Conclusions: Our oenocyte-specific translatome analysis identified many genes and pathways that are shared between Drosophila oenocytes and mammalian liver, highlighting the molecular and functional similarities between the two tissues. Many of these genes were altered in both oenocytes and liver during aging. Thus, our translatome analysis provide important genomic resource for future dissection of oenocyte function and its role in lipid metabolism, stress response and aging regulation.


This article is published as Huang, K., Chen, W., Zhu, F. et al. RiboTag translatomic profiling of Drosophila oenocytes under aging and induced oxidative stress. BMC Genomics 20, 50 (2019). doi: 10.1186/s12864-018-5404-4.

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