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Trends Genet. 2017 Jun;33(6):391-398. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2017.03.007. Epub 2017 Apr 15.

Etiology of Human Genetic Disease on the Fly.

Author information

1
Department of Human Genetics, The University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.
2
Department of Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA; Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA. Electronic address: lreiter@uthsc.edu.

Abstract

The model organism Drosophila melanogaster has been at the forefront of genetic studies since before the discovery of DNA. Although human disease modeling in flies may still be rather novel, recent advances in genetic tool design and genome sequencing now confer huge advantages in the fly system when modeling human disease. In this review, we focus on new genomic tools for human gene variant analysis; new uses for the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) in detection of background alleles that influence a phenotype; and several examples of how multigenic conditions, both complex disorders and duplication and/or deletion syndromes, can be effectively studied in the fly model system. Fruit flies are a far cry from the quaint genetic model of the past, but rather, continue to evolve as a powerful system for the study of human genetic disease.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila models of disease; MiMIC transposon; background allele screen; copy number variants; variant analysis

PMID:
28420493
DOI:
10.1016/j.tig.2017.03.007

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