The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as an innovative preclinical ADME model for solute carrier membrane transporters, with consequences for pharmacology and drug therapy

Drug Discov Today. 2018 Oct;23(10):1746-1760. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.06.002. Epub 2018 Jun 8.


Solute carrier membrane transporters (SLCs) control cell exposure to small-molecule drugs, thereby contributing to drug efficacy and failure and/or adverse effects. Moreover, SLCs are genetically linked to various diseases. Hence, in-depth knowledge of SLC function is fundamental for a better understanding of disease pathophysiology and the drug development process. Given that the model organism Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) expresses SLCs, such as for the excretion of endogenous and toxic compounds by the hindgut and Malpighian tubules, equivalent to human intestine and kidney, this system appears to be a promising preclinical model to use to study human SLCs. Here, we systematically compare current knowledge of SLCs in Drosophila and humans and describe the Drosophila model as an innovative tool for drug development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Drug Development / methods*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Solute Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity


  • Solute Carrier Proteins