Navigation Links
Fruit fly research set to revolutionize study of birth defects

A Queen's University study of fruit flies that may revolutionize the way birth defects are studied has identified the genes affected by a widely-prescribed drug known to cause birth defects.

Methotrexate (MTX), a popular cancer-fighting drug also used to treat psoriasis, ectopic pregnancies, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, lasts a long time in the body and causes birth defects in children from women who have it in their systems. The study of the drug's effect on fruit flies has allowed Queen's researchers including graduate student Joslynn Affleck to identify the genes on which the drug acts.

"We hope that through this model system we can provide insight into mammalian birth defects, which may be expected to increase in frequency in the future, due to the recent elevated use of MTX," says Affleck.

Many of the genes found to be affected by MTX are involved in cell cycle regulation, signal transduction, transport, defense response, transcription, or various aspects of metabolism.

"This study shows that MTX treatment has multiple targets," says Affleck. "And this provides us with a novel invertebrate model for the study of drugs that cause birth defects." The findings, funded by NSERC, are set to be published by Toxicological Sciences in the New Year.

"This is not a journal in the habit of publishing insect studies," notes biologist Dr. Virginia Walker, who co-authored the study. "The neat thing about this work is that fruit flies treated with this drug show 'birth defects' that are hauntingly similar to birth defects in human babies. Babies have bent limbs, tufts of hair and bulging eyes and the fruit flies have bent legs (and wings), tufts of bristles and rough eyes."

While identifying this gene array is significant in its own right, the successful use of fruit flies in this kind of study is a revelation to the researchers who view it as an efficient model for the initial testing of "rescue" therapies to try to prevent birth defects. Scientists can study the effect of the drug on the genes of as many as three generations of fruit flies in a month using readily available scientific tools, speeding up study times while keeping costs low.

"It also adds to the growing list of roles fruit flies can take," says Walker. Fruit flies are already used as models for aging, neural disease and cancer.


'"/>

Source:Queen's University


Related biology news :

1. X-Ray Beams And Fruit Fly Flight Simulator Aid Scientists View Of Muscle Power
2. Fruit fly studies open new window on cancer research
3. How Fruitflies Know Its Time for Lunch
4. Fruit flys beating heart helps identify human heart disease genes
5. Fruit fly reveals a potential connection between dementia and cancer
6. Fruit fly dating game provides clues to our reproductive prowess
7. Fruit fly aggression studies have relevance to humans, animals
8. Psst! Coffee drinkers: Fruit flies have something to tell you about caffeine
9. Fruit fly study identifies gene mutation that regulates sensitivity to alcohol
10. Fruit flies and global warming -- Some like it hot
11. Fruit fly gene research may shed light on human disease processes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/20/2016)... DALLAS , June 20, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... by the prisons involved, it has secured the ... Corrections (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) ... (4) additional facilities to be installed by October, ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... YORK , June 2, 2016   The Weather ... is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers ... by being able to ask questions via voice or text ... Marketers have long sought ... the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... LAKE, N.J. , Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Phase 3 open-label two-year study of rufinamide, which ... the American Epilepsy Society (AES) held from December ... Analysis of final two-year safety, tolerability and cognitive ... with rufinamide experienced similar safety and tolerability profiles, ...
(Date:12/4/2016)...  In five studies being presented today during the ... Exposition in San Diego , researchers ... delivery of life-saving treatments to patients with a variety ... carry therapies directly to the sites in the body ... substantial advantage over traditional, systemic methods. The studies highlight ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... OAKS, Calif. , Dec. 2, 2016 Amgen ... AGN ) today announced the submission of a Marketing ... ABP 215, a biosimilar candidate to Avastin ® (bevacizumab). ... application submitted to the EMA. "The submission ... as Amgen seeks to expand our oncology portfolio," said ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... Aerocom Healthcare ( ... hospitals, will present its chain-of-custody solution for tracking and securing medications at booth ... Dec. 4-8, 2016. , Aerocom has a proven solution for tracking medications via ...
Breaking Biology Technology: