Trends Mol Med 2002 Mar 1;8(3):99-101

Fly-ing from genes to drugs. Chan HY.

Dept of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong SAR, China

Studies of inherited neurological diseases in genetically tractable model organisms allow rapid identification of cellular pathways that go awry in pathogenic conditions. Several human neurological diseases, including polyglutamine diseases, have successfully been modeled in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and particular pathogenic pathways have been identified through genetic studies. Recently, both pharmacological and genetic interference of the cellular histone acetylation pathway have been shown to arrest polyglutamine-dependent neural degeneration in Drosophila. These studies indicate that combined genetic/pharmacological analysis in model organisms has major impact on biomedical research and preventive medicine.