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Of flies and men: insights on organismal metabolism from fruit flies

Akhila Rajan1 and Norbert Perrimon12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA

2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA

BMC Biology 2013, 11:38  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-38

Published: 15 April 2013


The fruit fly Drosophila has contributed significantly to our general understanding of the basic principles of signaling, cell and developmental biology, and neurobiology. However, answers to questions pertaining to energy metabolism have been so far mostly addressed in more complex model organisms such as mice. We review in this article recent studies that show how the genetic tractability and simplicity of Drosophila are being used to identify novel regulatory mechanisms at the organismal level, and to query the co-ordination between energy metabolism and other processes such as neurodegeneration, circadian rhythms, immunity, and tumor biology.