Essay drosophila current research

The majority of the diseases are associated with pathogenic oligomers from misfolded proteins, eventually causing the formation of aggregates and the progressive loss of neurons in the brain and nervous system. First established as a genetic model over a hundred years ago by Thomas Hunt Morgan, it remains one of the most popular and powerful model organisms. Thanks to the continued efforts of the Drosophila research community, it now serves as a model not only for genetic research, but also for a diverse array of studies, ranging from investigations of basic cellular and molecular mechanisms to modeling human diseases. The entire Drosophila genome is encoded by roughly 13, genes as compared to 27, human genes, located on only four pairs of chromosomes as compared to 23 pairs in human [ 29 ]. Tubular organs like vasculature, kidneys, salivary glands, and lungs, are required for efficient secretion, and for transport of resources and waste products. Efficient signaling is dependent upon cellular architecture and dynamics. Drosophila has been used for a range of sensory and behavioral studies over the years. A techniques article from Brody et al. An original research article from Amodio et al. But yet, in most of the cases, these models fulfil only some of the criteria expected to apply in the study of human neurodegeneration. Lin and Lee pages 57—68 provide a detailed review of molecular steps involved in specifying the many distinct neuronal cell types of the Drosophila central nervous system, and an appreciation of the complex mechanisms required to achieve neuronal diversity. Tsachaki and Sprecher pages 40—56 provide a detailed summary of the molecular processes involved in specifying retinal cell types, beginning with the transcriptional networks involved in eye fate determination, through the patterning and signaling events that specify photoreceptor cells and assign them unique functions. The proteins are usually modified fragmented, phosphorylated, ubiquitinated and their identification provides a mechanistic link to the potential aberrant pathway mediating pathogenesis. They emphasize the wide range of questions being addressed through Drosophila studies, and illustrate how the facility of combining diverse techniques, and developing new ones, is deployed in Drosophila to elucidate complex biological concepts.

These inclusions are characterised by protein aggregates that accumulate in the extracellular milieu or intracellular compartments of affected neurons. They describe how Drosophila is becoming established as a model for the study of different processes involved in nociception, including development of neurons responsible for the detection of noxious stimuli, and genetic approaches that are providing new insights into nociception.

Drosophila melanogaster

Homeostasis of organs in the adult often requires stem cells, and Drosophila has also been an important model for stem cell biology. Drosophila has long been appreciated as a model for basic cancer research through the identification of genes that control growth, such as components of the Hippo pathway. One of the most recently discovered signaling pathways, the Hippo Pathway, was first identified several years ago in Drosophila, and Staley and Irvine pages 3—15 review recent progress in our understanding of this pathway that has come from continued Drosophila studies. While Drosophila has long served as a model for basic biological research, more recently its potential as a model for unraveling molecular mechanisms of human diseases is becoming more widely appreciated, and we are fortunate to also have several articles and reviews that highlight this. One area that owes an extensive debt to Drosophila studies is that of tubulogenesis. These inclusions are characterised by protein aggregates that accumulate in the extracellular milieu or intracellular compartments of affected neurons. A techniques article from Brody et al. Drosophila was one of the first metazoans to have its genome sequenced, and it continues to be an outstanding model for genomic studies. The identification and characterization of intercellular signaling pathways is another area where Drosophila studies have made major contributions. This enigma as well as clinical evidence suggesting that neurodegeneration can occur even in the absence of inclusion formation continues to fuel the debate as to whether aggregate formation is a cause of disease or rather an attempt of the cell to protect itself. Apart from tradition, the reasons for using the fruitfly as a study object are manifold: Drosophila is cheap and easy to maintain in the laboratory Fig. Im and Galko pages 16—26 review one of the newest areas of sensory research in Drosophila, that of pain sensation nociception. This lack of mechanistic insights has been challenged over the last two decades by two different but mutually overlapping approaches.

Familial cases show clinical features similar to sporadic cases but at the same time are heritable, substantiating the reasonable quest to identify the origin, cause and underlying mechanisms of disease.

But yet, in most of the cases, these models fulfil only some of the criteria expected to apply in the study of human neurodegeneration.

In addition, we invited several researchers to submit review articles in their areas of specialization.

One of the most recently discovered signaling pathways, the Hippo Pathway, was first identified several years ago in Drosophila, and Staley and Irvine pages 3—15 review recent progress in our understanding of this pathway that has come from continued Drosophila studies. The limitations of human genetic studies however, often make it difficult to analyse genes and pathways in any further detail, because of complex patterns of inheritance, lack of sufficient family pedigree data and population-based genetic heterogeneity. Abstract Human neurodegenerative diseases are devastating illnesses that predominantly affect elderly people. Drosophila has long been appreciated as a model for basic cancer research through the identification of genes that control growth, such as components of the Hippo pathway. First established as a genetic model over a hundred years ago by Thomas Hunt Morgan, it remains one of the most popular and powerful model organisms. But yet, in most of the cases, these models fulfil only some of the criteria expected to apply in the study of human neurodegeneration. Several of these proteinopathies are sporadic and the cause of pathogenesis remains elusive. In any case, the identification of the nature and content of proteinaceous inclusions alone has not revealed a major breakthrough in understanding disease formation. However, in conjunction with information generated by the second approach, these data led to the identification of key pathogenic pathways operant in human neurodegeneration.

Several of these proteinopathies are sporadic and the cause of pathogenesis remains elusive. This pathway is highly conserved, and now recognized a major growth regulatory pathway from flies to mammals, with roles not only during development but also in regeneration.

drosophila melanogaster research articles

Micchelli pages 85—91 reviews studies of the origin of the stem cells for the Drosophila intestine, describing the elucidation of their origin from adult midgut precursors, as well as outstanding questions.

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Drosophila melanogaster in the Study of Human Neurodegeneration