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Special Issue "Modeling Human Biological Pathways in Health, Aging and Disease: The Drosophila Paradigm - in Memory of Professor Suzanne Eaton (1959-2019)"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Athanassios D. Velentzas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Section of Cell Biology & Biophysics, Department of Biology, University of Athens (NKUA) Panepistimiopolis, Zografou 15701 Athens, Greece
Interests: development; Drosophila model of human diseases; oogenesis; metabolic disorders; neurological disorders; programmed cell death; proteasome
Dr. Dimitrios J. Stravopodis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Section of Cell Biology & Biophysics, Department of Biology, University of Athens (NKUA) Panepistimiopolis, Zografou 15701 Athens, Greece
Interests: development; cancer; chemotherapy; metastasis; programmed cell death; metabolism; Drosophila aging; brain signaling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Drosophila melanogaster, with its powerful transgenic technology that enables scientists to drive or silence the expression of a gene in a spatial and/or temporal manner, is now established as one of the most sophisticated model organisms for the in vivo investigation of mechanisms regulating, among others, cell differentiation, gene regulation, and aging.

Furthermore, the high level of structural and functional conservation in many fundamental biological processes between humans and flies, and the fact that approximately 75% of all known human disease genes have functional fly homologues, render Drosophila an ideal model for understanding the molecular mechanisms of human diseases, including malignancies. Hence, Drosophila has been effectively used for drug screenings and target discoveries, as well as for the study of various pathological conditions, such as metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, aging, and cancer.

Recent research in Drosophila gives special emphasis to the large-scale screening of candidate genes identified from patient genomic sequencing studies aiming at the identification of novel druggable targets for personalized medicine schemes.

For this Special Issue, we welcome original research articles and reviews by experts in this field, whose contribution will provide novel insights into the outlined research areas.

Dr. Athanassios D. Velentzas
Dr. Dimitrios J. Stravopodis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Human disease model
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Inflammatory disorders
  • Cancer model
  • Epigenetic dysregulation
  • Aging
  • Stem cell maintenance
  • Fertility
  • Programmed cell death
  • Cell differentiation
  • Gene regulation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
Drosophila Trachea as a Novel Model of COPD
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(23), 12730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222312730 - 25 Nov 2021
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Abstract
COPD, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Clinical studies and research in rodent models demonstrated that failure of repair mechanisms to cope with increased ROS and inflammation in the lung leads to COPD. Despite this [...] Read more.
COPD, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Clinical studies and research in rodent models demonstrated that failure of repair mechanisms to cope with increased ROS and inflammation in the lung leads to COPD. Despite this progress, the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of COPD remain poorly understood, resulting in a lack of effective treatments. Thus, an informative, simple model is highly valued and desired. Recently, the cigarette smoke-induced Drosophila COPD model showed a complex set of pathological phenotypes that resemble those seen in human COPD patients. The Drosophila trachea has been used as a premier model to reveal the mechanisms of tube morphogenesis. The association of these mechanisms to structural changes in COPD can be analyzed by using Drosophila trachea. Additionally, the timeline of structural damage, ROS, and inflammation can be studied in live organisms using fluorescently-tagged proteins. The related function of human COPD genes identified by GWAS can be screened using respective fly homologs. Finally, the Drosophila trachea can be used as a high-throughput drug screening platform to identify novel treatments for COPD. Therefore, Drosophila trachea is an excellent model that is complementary to rodent COPD models. Full article
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Review
Drosophila melanogaster as a Model Organism to Study Lithium and Boron Bioactivity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111710 - 28 Oct 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable model organism in nutritional science, which can be applied to elucidate the physiology and the biological function of nutrients, including trace elements. Importantly, the application of chemically defined diets enables the supply of trace [...] Read more.
The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable model organism in nutritional science, which can be applied to elucidate the physiology and the biological function of nutrients, including trace elements. Importantly, the application of chemically defined diets enables the supply of trace elements for nutritional studies under highly standardized dietary conditions. Thus, the bioavailability and bioactivity of trace elements can be systematically monitored in D. melanogaster. Numerous studies have already revealed that central aspects of trace element homeostasis are evolutionary conserved among the fruit fly and mammalian species. While there is sufficient evidence of vital functions of boron (B) in plants, there is also evidence regarding its bioactivity in animals and humans. Lithium (Li) is well known for its role in the therapy of bipolar disorder. Furthermore, recent findings suggest beneficial effects of Li regarding neuroprotection as well as healthy ageing and longevity in D. melanogaster. However, no specific essential function in the animal kingdom has been found for either of the two elements so far. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of Li and B bioactivity in D. melanogaster in the context of health and disease prevention. Full article
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