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J Neurogenet. 2009;23(3):293-302. doi: 10.1080/01677060802572937. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

Tolerance in Drosophila.

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  • 1Section of Neurobiology and The Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-0248, USA.


The set of genes that underlie ethanol tolerance (inducible resistance) are likely to overlap with the set of genes responsible for ethanol addiction. Whereas addiction is difficult to recognize in simple model systems, behavioral tolerance is readily identifiable and can be induced in large populations of animals. Thus, tolerance lends itself to analysis in model systems with powerful genetics. Drosophila melanogaster has been used by a variety of laboratories for the identification of genes that interfere with the acquisition of ethanol tolerance. Here, I discuss the genes identified as being important for the production of ethanol tolerance in Drosophila. Some of these genes have also been shown to be important for the production of tolerance in mammals, demonstrating that gene discovery in Drosophila has predictive value for understanding the molecular pathways that generate tolerance in mammals.

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