"Null" mutations previously isolated at the αGpdh-1 locus of Drosophila melanogaster, because of disruption of the energy-producing α-glycerophosphate cycle, severely restrict the flight ability and relative viability of affected individuals. Two "null" alleles, αGpdh-1BO-1-4, and αGpdh-1BO-1-5, when made hemizygous with a deficiency of the αGpdh-1 locus, Df(2L)GdhA, were rendered homozygous by recombination with and selective elimination of the Df(2L)GdhA chromosome. After over 25 generations, a homozygous αGpdh-1BO-1-4 stock regained the ability to fly despite the continued absence of measurable αGPDH activity. Inter se heterozygotes of three noncomplementing αGpdh-1 "null" alleles and the "adapted" αGpdh-1BO-1-4 homozygotes were examined for metabolic enzymatic activities related to the energy-producing and pyridine nucleotide-regulating functions of the α-glycerophosphate cycle in Drosophila. The enzyme functions tested included glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, cytoplasmic and soluble malate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase, mitochondrial NADH oxidation, oxidative phosphorylation, and respiratory control with the substrates α-glycerophosphate, succinate, and pyruvate. These activities in any of the mutant genotypes in early adult life were indistinguishable from those in the wild type. There was, however, a premature deterioration and atrophy of the ultrastructural integrity of flight muscle sarcosomes observed by electron microscopy in the "null" mutants. These observations were correlated with a decrease in state 3 mitochondrial oxidation with α-glycerophosphate, succinate, and pyruvate, as well as with loss of respiratory control in adults as early as 2 wk after eclosion. Such observations, which normally are seen in aged dipterans, were accompanied by premature mortality of the mutant heterozygotes. The adapted αGpdh-1BO-1-4 was identical with wild type in each of the aging characters with the single exception of lowered rates of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.

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