• Open Access

dFatp regulates nutrient distribution and long-term physiology in Drosophila


Robert Wessells, University of Michigan Medical School, 3013 BSRB Bldg., 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. Tel.: +734-615-8036; fax: +734-936-9220; e-mail: wessells@med.umich.edu


Nutrient allocation and usage plays an important part in regulating the onset and progression of age-related functional declines. Here, we describe a heterozygous mutation in Drosophila (dFatp) that alters nutrient distribution and multiple aspects of physiology. dFatp mutants have increased lifespan and stress resistance, altered feeding behavior and fat storage, and increased mobility. Concurrently, mutants experience impairment of cardiac function. We show that endurance exercise reverses increased lipid storage in the myocardium and the deleterious cardiac function conferred by dFatp mutation. These findings establish a novel conserved genetic target for regulating lifespan and physiology in aging animals. These findings also highlight the importance of varying exercise conditions in assessing aging functions of model organisms.