Drosophila d-idua reduction mimics mucopolysaccharidosis type i disease-related phenotypes

Concetta De Filippis, Barbara Napoli, Laura Rigon, Giulia Guarato, Reinhard Bauer, Rosella Tomanin, Genny Orso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deficit of the IDUA (α-L-iduronidase) enzyme causes the lysosomal storage disorder mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I), a rare pediatric neurometabolic disease, due to pathological variants in the IDUA gene and is characterized by the accumulation of the undegraded mucopolysac-charides heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate into lysosomes, with secondary cellular consequences that are still mostly unclarified. Here, we report a new fruit fly RNAi-mediated knockdown model of a IDUA homolog (D-idua) displaying a phenotype mimicking some typical molecular features of Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSD). In this study, we showed that D-idua is a vital gene in Drosophila and that ubiquitous reduction of its expression leads to lethality during the pupal stage, when the precise degradation/synthesis of macromolecules, together with a functional autophagic pathway, are indispensable for the correct development to the adult stage. Tissue-specific analysis of the D-idua model showed an increase in the number and size of lysosomes in the brain and muscle. Moreover, the incorrect acidification of lysosomes led to dysfunctional lysosome-autophagosome fusion and the consequent block of autophagy flux. A concomitant metabolic drift of glycolysis and lipogenesis pathways was observed. After starvation, D-idua larvae showed a quite complete rescue of both autophagy/lysosome phenotypes and metabolic alterations. Metabolism and autophagy are strictly interconnected vital processes that contribute to maintain homeostatic control of energy balance, and little is known about this regulation in LSDs. Our results provide new starting points for future investigations on the disease’s pathogenic mechanisms and possible pharmacological manipulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2022


  • D-idua
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Fly models
  • Hurler syndrome
  • IDUA
  • Lysosomal storage disorders
  • MPS I
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis type I
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Drosophila d-idua reduction mimics mucopolysaccharidosis type i disease-related phenotypes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this