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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Oct;25(10):518-27. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2014.03.011. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

Drosophila gains traction as a repurposed tool to investigate metabolism.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 1220 East Broad Street Room 2052, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 1220 East Broad Street Room 2052, Richmond, VA 23298, USA. Electronic address: kdbaker@vcu.edu.

Abstract

The use of fruit flies has recently emerged as a powerful experimental paradigm to study the core aspects of energy metabolism. The fundamental need for lipid and carbohydrate processing and storage across species dictates that the central regulators that control metabolism are highly conserved through evolution. Accordingly, the Drosophila system is being used to identify human disease genes and has the potential to model successfully human disorders that center on excessive caloric intake and metabolic dysfunction, including diet-induced lipotoxicity and type 2 diabetes. We review here recent progress on this front and contend that increasing such efforts will yield unexpectedly high rates of experimental return, thereby leading to novel approaches in the treatment of obesity and its comorbidities.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila; endocrine; insulin signaling; metabolism; obesity

PMID:
24768030
DOI:
10.1016/j.tem.2014.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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