Nuclear receptors--a perspective from Drosophila

Nat Rev Genet. 2005 Apr;6(4):311-23. doi: 10.1038/nrg1581.


Nuclear receptors are ancient ligand-regulated transcription factors that control key metabolic and developmental pathways. The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster has only 18 nuclear-receptor genes - far fewer than any other genetic model organism and representing all 6 subfamilies of vertebrate receptors. These unique attributes establish the fly as an ideal system for studying the regulation and function of nuclear receptors during development. Here, we review recent breakthroughs in our understanding of D. melanogaster nuclear receptors, and interpret these results in light of findings from their evolutionarily conserved vertebrate homologues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Insect Proteins / physiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology*


  • Insect Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear