Friday, April 8, 2016

Review of fly research related to type 2 diabetes

Alfa RW, Kim SK. Using Drosophila to discover mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes. Dis Model Mech. 2016 Apr 1;9(4):365-76. PMID: 27053133.

From the abstract: "Mechanisms of glucose homeostasis are remarkably well conserved between the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and mammals. From the initial characterization of insulin signaling in the fly came the identification of downstream metabolic pathways for nutrient storage and utilization. Defects in these pathways lead to phenotypes that are analogous to diabetic states in mammals. These discoveries have stimulated interest in leveraging the fly to better understand the genetics of type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans. ... Here, we examine results from studies modeling metabolic disease in the fruit fly and compare findings to proposed mechanisms for diabetic phenotypes in mammals. We provide a systematic framework for assessing the contribution of gene candidates to insulin-secretion or insulin-resistance pathways relevant to diabetes pathogenesis."