The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has a long and rich history as an important model organism for biologists. In particular, study of the fruit fly has been essential to much of our fundamental understanding of the development and function of the nervous system. In recent years, studies using fruit flies have provided important insights into the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases. Fly models of spinal muscular atrophy, spinobulbar muscular atrophy,myotonic dystrophy, dystrophinopathies and other inherited neuromuscular diseases recapitulate many of the key pathologic features of the human disease. The ability to perform genetic screens holds promise for uncovering the molecular mechanisms of disease, and indeed, for identifying novel therapeutic targets. This review will summarize recent progress in developing fly models of neuromuscular diseases and will emphasize the contribution that Drosophila has made to our understanding of these diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- History and Philosophy of Science