Drosophila as a model for human neurodegenerative disease

Annu Rev Genet. 2005;39:153-71. doi: 10.1146/annurev.genet.39.110304.095804.


Among many achievements in the neurodegeneration field in the past decade, two require special attention due to the huge impact on our understanding of molecular and cellular pathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases. First is defining specific mutations in familial neurodegenerative diseases and second is modeling these diseases in easily manipulable model organisms including the fruit fly, nematode, and yeast. The power of these genetic systems has revealed many genetic factors involved in the various pathways affected, as well as provided potential drug targets for therapeutics. This review focuses on fruit fly models of human neurodegenerative diseases, with emphasis on how fly models have provided new insights into various aspects of human diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / genetics
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Trinucleotide Repeats / genetics
  • Trinucleotide Repeats / physiology