Drosophila as a diet discovery tool for treating amino acid disorders

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Feb;34(2):85-105. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2022.12.004. Epub 2022 Dec 23.


Amino acid disorders (AADs) are a large group of rare inherited conditions that collectively impact one in 6500 live births, often resulting in rapid neurological decline and death during infancy. For several AADs, including phenylketonuria, dietary modification prevents physiological deterioration and ameliorates symptoms. Despite this remarkable potential for treatment success, dietary therapy for most AADs remains largely unexplored. Although animal models have provided novel insights into AAD mechanisms, few have been used for therapeutic diet discovery. Here, we find that of all the animal models, Drosophila is particularly well suited for nutrigenomic disease modelling, having amino acid pathways conserved with humans, exceptional genetic tractability, and the unique availability of a synthetic customisable diet.

Keywords: amino acid; inherited metabolic disease; metabolism; nutrigenomics; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Drosophila* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nutrigenomics / methods


  • Amino Acids