The high degree of genetic conservation between Drosophila melanogaster and mammals has helped to translate many important findings into new knowledge, and has led to better understanding of many biological processes in vertebrates. For over a century, the Drosophila model has been used in studies aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms implicated in heredity, development, disease progression, and aging. The current epidemic of obesity and associated diabetic cardiomyopathy and heart failure has led to a shift in Drosophila research towards understanding the basic mechanisms leading to metabolic syndrome and associated cardiac risk factors. We discuss recent findings in Drosophila that highlight the importance of this organism as an excellent model for studying the effects of metabolic imbalance on cardiac function.
Keywords: ATGL; PGC-1; TOR; cardiomyopathy; metabolism; obesity.
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