The insect renal (Malpighian) tubules are functionally homologous to the mammalian kidney. Accumulating evidence indicates that renal tubule crystals form in a manner similar to mammalian kidney stones. In Drosophila melanogaster, crystals can be induced by diet, toxic substances, or genetic mutations that reflect circumstances influencing or eliciting kidney stones in mammals. Incredibly, many mammalian proteins have distinct homologs in Drosophila, and the function of most homologs have been demonstrated to recapitulate their mammalian and human counterparts. Here, we discuss the present literature establishing Drosophila as a nephrolithiasis model. This insect model may be used to investigate and understand the etiology of kidney stone diseases, especially with regard to calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate and xanthine or urate crystallization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science