The fabulous destiny of the Drosophila heart

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2009 Oct;19(5):518-25. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2009.07.004. Epub 2009 Aug 28.


For the last 15 years the fly cardiovascular system has attracted developmental geneticists for its potential as a model system of organogenesis. Heart development in Drosophila indeed provides a remarkable system for elucidating the basic molecular and cellular mechanisms of morphogenesis and, more recently, for understanding the genetic control of cardiac physiology. The success of these studies can in part be attributed to multidisciplinary approaches, the multiplicity of existing genetic tools, and a detailed knowledge of the system. Striking similarities with vertebrate cardiogenesis have long been stressed, in particular concerning the conservation of key molecular regulators of cardiogenesis and the new data presented here confirm Drosophila cardiogenesis as a model not only for organogenesis but also for the study of molecular mechanisms of human cardiac disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Body Patterning / physiology
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Cardiovascular System / embryology
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / physiology
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Heart / growth & development
  • Heart / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis / genetics