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Nat Rev Genet. 2009 Jun;10(6):359-70. doi: 10.1038/nrg2563.

Maintaining the brain: insight into human neurodegeneration from Drosophila melanogaster mutants.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 306 Leidy Laboratories, 433 South University Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Abstract

The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster has enabled significant advances in neurodegenerative disease research, notably in the identification of genes that are required to maintain the structural integrity of the brain, defined by recessive mutations that cause adult onset neurodegeneration. Here, we survey these genes in the fly and classify them according to five key cell biological processes. Over half of these genes have counterparts in mice or humans that are also associated with neurodegeneration. Fly genetics continues to be instrumental in the analysis of degenerative disease, with notable recent advances in our understanding of several inherited disorders, Parkinson's disease, and the central role of mitochondria in neuronal maintenance.

PMID:
19434080
PMCID:
PMC2820605
DOI:
10.1038/nrg2563
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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