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Bouleau, S., Tricoire, H. (2015). Drosophila models of Alzheimer's disease: advances, limits, and perspectives.  J. Alzheimers Dis. 45(4): 1015--1038.
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Amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) and the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) are the two key players involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and are associated with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles respectively, two key hallmarks of the disease. Besides vertebrate models, Drosophila models have been widely used to understand the complex events leading to AD in relation to aging. Drosophila benefits from the low redundancy of the genome which greatly simplifies the analysis of single gene disruption, sophisticated molecular genetic tools, and reduced cost compared to mammals. The aim of this review is to describe the recent advances in modeling AD using fly and to emphasize some limits of these models. Genetic studies in Drosophila have revealed some key aspects of the normal function of Appl and Tau, the fly homologues of AβPP and MAPT that may be disrupted during AD. Drosophila models have also been useful to uncover or validate several pathological pathways or susceptibility genes, and have been readily implemented in drug screening pipelines. We discuss some limitations of the current models that may arise from differences in structure of Appl and Tau compared to their human counterparts or from missing AβPP or MAPT protein interactors in flies. The advent of new genome modification technologies should allow the development of more realistic fly models and to better understand the relationship between AD and aging, taking advantage of the fly's short lifespan.

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    J. Alzheimers Dis.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD
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