Measuring Glucose Uptake in Drosophila Models of TDP-43 Proteinopathy

Suvithanandhini Loganathan, Hannah E. Ball, Ernesto Manzo, Daniela C. Zarnescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder causing progressive muscle weakness and death within 2-5 years following diagnosis. Clinical manifestations include weight loss, dyslipidemia, and hypermetabolism; however, it remains unclear how these relate to motor neuron degeneration. Using a Drosophila model of TDP-43 proteinopathy that recapitulates several features of ALS including cytoplasmic inclusions, locomotor dysfunction, and reduced lifespan, we recently identified broad ranging metabolic deficits. Among these, glycolysis was found to be upregulated and genetic interaction experiments provided evidence for a compensatory neuroprotective mechanism. Indeed, despite upregulation of phosphofructokinase, the rate limiting enzyme in glycolysis, an increase in glycolysis using dietary and genetic manipulations was shown to mitigate locomotor dysfunction and increased lifespan in fly models of TDP-43 proteinopathy. To further investigate the effect on TDP-43 proteinopathy on glycolytic flux in motor neurons, a previously reported genetically encoded, FRET-based sensor, FLII12Pglu-700µδ6, was used. This sensor is comprised of a bacterial glucose-sensing domain and cyan and yellow fluorescent proteins as the FRET pair. Upon glucose binding, the sensor undergoes a conformational change allowing FRET to occur. Using FLII12Pglu-700µδ6, glucose uptake was found to be significantly increased in motor neurons expressing TDP-43G298S, an ALS causing variant. Here, we show how to measure glucose uptake, ex vivo, in larval ventral nerve cord preparations expressing the glucose sensor FLII12Pglu-700µδ6 in the context of TDP-43 proteinopathy. This approach can be used to measure glucose uptake and assess glycolytic flux in different cell types or in the context of various mutations causing ALS and related neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62936
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number174
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring Glucose Uptake in Drosophila Models of TDP-43 Proteinopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this