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Grotewiel, M., Bettinger, J.C. (2015). Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans as Discovery Platforms for Genes Involved in Human Alcohol Use Disorder.  Alcoholism, Clin. Exp. Res. 39(8): 1292--1311.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0229088
Publication Type
Review
Abstract

Despite the profound clinical significance and strong heritability of alcohol use disorder (AUD), we do not yet have a comprehensive understanding of the naturally occurring genetic variance within the human genome that drives its development. This lack of understanding is likely to be due in part to the large phenotypic and genetic heterogeneities that underlie human AUD. As a complement to genetic studies in humans, many laboratories are using the invertebrate model organisms (iMOs) Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) and Caenorhabditis elegans (nematode worm) to identify genetic mechanisms that influence the effects of alcohol (ethanol) on behavior. While these extremely powerful models have identified many genes that influence the behavioral responses to alcohol, in most cases it has remained unclear whether results from behavioral-genetic studies in iMOs are directly applicable to understanding the genetic basis of human AUD. In this review, we critically evaluate the utility of the fly and worm models for identifying genes that influence AUD in humans. Based on results published through early 2015, studies in flies and worms have identified 91 and 50 genes, respectively, that influence 1 or more aspects of behavioral responses to alcohol. Collectively, these fly and worm genes correspond to 293 orthologous genes in humans. Intriguingly, 51 of these 293 human genes have been implicated in AUD by at least 1 study in human populations. Our analyses strongly suggest that the Drosophila and C. elegans models have considerable utility for identifying orthologs of genes that influence human AUD.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC4656040 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Alcoholism, Clin. Exp. Res.
    Title
    Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
    Publication Year
    1977
    ISBN/ISSN
    0145-6008
    Data From Reference