Recent contributions of the Drosophila eye to unraveling the basis of neurodegeneration

Pedro Fernandez-Funez, Ryan R. Myers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a powerful research tool driven for the unique characteristics that make these small flies a unique model to study gene function. Among its many advantages, the Drosophila eye provides easy access to complex biological processes, including cell proliferation, cell signaling, cell polarity, cellular differentiation, and gene expression, among others. Small perturbations of these highly regulated cellular processes lead to detectable changes in the structure of the eye, making the eye one of the premiere assays for new discoveries. The expression of agents responsible for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including protein amyloids and mRNAs with stable tertiary structures, causes unique perturbations in the eye, enabling the discovery of the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the corresponding diseases. In the first edition of this chapter, we described the uses of the eye in the generation of Drosophila models of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review recent advances that push the technical limits to continue to exploit the exceptional features that make the eye an ideal model for genetic discoveries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMolecular Genetics of Axial Patterning, Growth and Disease in Drosophila Eye
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030422462
ISBN (Print)9783030422455
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Amyloids
  • Assay development
  • Drosophila
  • Eye degeneration
  • Human disease models


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