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J Genet. 2018 Jul;97(3):773-781.

Pathways to neurodegeneration: lessons learnt from unbiased genetic screens in Drosophila.

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Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500 107, India.


Neurodegenerative diseases are a complex set of disorders that are known to be caused by environmental as well as genetic factors. In the recent past, mutations in a large number of genes have been identified that are linked to several neurodegenerative diseases. The pathogenic mechanisms in most of these disorders are unknown. Recently, studies of genes that are linked to neurodegeneration in Drosophila, the fruit flies, have contributed significantly to our understanding of mechanisms of neuroprotection and degeneration. In this review, we focus on forward genetic screens in Drosophila that helped in identification of novel genes and pathogenic mechanisms linked to neurodegeneration. We also discuss identification of four novel pathways that contribute to neurodegeneration upon mitochondrial dysfunction.

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