Friday, March 23, 2018

Review article -- Drosophila as a model to study diabetes

Murillo-Maldonado JM, Riesgo-Escovar JR. Development and diabetes on the fly. Mech Dev. 2017 Apr;144(Pt B):150-155. PMID: 27702607.

From the abstract: "... Genetic model organisms, like the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, offer the possibility of studying the panoply of life processes in normal and diseased states like diabetes mellitus, from a plethora of different perspectives. ..."

Experiments in the fly help identify a genetic cause of primary ovarian insufficiency

Chen A, Tiosano D, Guran T, Baris HN, Bayram Y, Mory A, Shapiro-Kulnane L, Hodges CA, Coban Akdemir Z, Turan S, Jhangiani SN, van den Akker F, Hoppel CL, Salz HK, Lupski JR, Buchner DA. Mutations in the mitochondrial ribosomal protein MRPS22 lead to primary ovarian insufficiency. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Mar 16. PMID: 29566152.

From the abstract: "Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is characterized by amenorrhea and loss or dysfunction of ovarian follicles prior to the age of 40. ... the genetic etiology of POI most often remains unknown. Here we report MRPS22 homozygous missense variants ... identified in four females ... as a novel genetic cause of POI in adolescents. Both missense mutations identified in MRPS22 are rare, occurred in highly evolutionarily conserved residues, and are predicted to be deleterious to protein function. .... Furthermore, we demonstrate in a Drosophila model that mRpS22 deficiency specifically in somatic cells of the ovary had no effect on fertility, whereas flies with mRpS22 deficiency specifically in germ cells were infertile and agametic, demonstrating a cell autonomous requirement for mRpS22 in germ cell development. These findings collectively identify that MRPS22 ... is critical for ovarian development and may therefore provide insight into the pathophysiology and treatment of ovarian dysfunction."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Why Fruit Flies Are the New Lab Rats | Essay | Zócalo Public Square

Why Fruit Flies Are the New Lab Rats | Essay | Zócalo Public Square: Set out a bowl of fruit, and they will arrive: small, buff-colored flies with garnet eyes and an attraction to fermenting bananas. Annoying but not harmful ...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fly models of kidney disease: Drosophila nephrocytes "represent a novel and easy-to-use alternative in experimental nephrology"

Helmstädter M, Simons M. Using Drosophila nephrocytes in genetic kidney disease. Cell Tissue Res. 2017 Jul;369(1):119-126. PMID: 28401308.

The abstract: "Renal diseases are a growing health burden, and innovative models to study their pathomechanisms are greatly needed. Here, we highlight how the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster can be used to model kidney diseases. We focus on the nephrocyte that has recently been shown to exhibit podocyte and proximal tubular cell features. These cells can be manipulated with precise genetic tools to dissect filtration and reabsorption mechanisms. Thus, they represent a novel and easy-to-use alternative in experimental nephrology."