Drosophila provides rapid modeling of renal development, function, and disease

Julian A.T. Dow, Michael F. Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

The evolution of specialized excretory cells is a cornerstone of the metazoan radiation, and the basic tasks performed by Drosophila and human renal systems are similar. The development of the Drosophila renal (Malpighian) tubule is a classic example of branched tubular morphogenesis, allowing study of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions, stem cell-mediated regeneration, and the evolution of a glomerular kidney. Tubule function employs conserved transport proteins, such as the Na+, K+-ATPase and V-ATPase, aquaporins, inward rectifier K+ channels, and organic solute transporters, regulated by cAMP, cGMP, nitric oxide, and calcium. In addition to generation and selective reabsorption of primary urine, the tubule plays roles in metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics, and in innate immunity. The gene expression resource FlyAtlas.org shows that the tubule is an ideal tissue for the modeling of renal diseases, such as nephrolithiasis and Bartter syndrome, or for inborn errors of metabolism. Studies are assisted by uniquely powerful genetic and transgenic resources, the widespread availability of mutant stocks, and low-cost, rapid deployment of new transgenics to allow manipulation of renal function in an organotypic context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F1237-F1244
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Volume299
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Bartter syndrome
  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Renal acidosis
  • Stem cells
  • Xanthinuria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology

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