Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Drunk’ fruit flies could shed light on genetic basis of human alcohol abuse

20.10.2006
Fruit flies get ‘drunk’, just like humans, when exposed to large amounts of alcohol and may in future help to explain why some people are genetically predisposed to alcohol abuse. Humans and fruit flies respond to alcohol in a very similar way at the gene level, according to a study published today in the open access journal Genome Biology.

The researchers show that, in the fruit fly, the expression of many genes is modified by exposure to alcohol, and that mutations in some of these genes affect the flies’ sensitivity to alcohol. Many of the genes analysed are also found in humans and the authors of the study conclude that studies in the fruit fly Drosophila could shed light on the genetic basis of human response to alcohol, including the susceptibility to alcohol abuse.

Tatiana Morozova, Robert Anholt and Trudy Mackay, from North Carolina State Univeristy, USA, analysed the activity of all Drosophila genes after exposure to alcohol. Using microarray analysis, a technique that enables to measure gene expression levels, they compared the gene expression levels in flies before they were exposed to ethanol, directly after exposure and two hours after exposure.

The results of Morozova et al.’s study show that one single exposure to ethanol is enough to modify the expression of some genes in the fruit fly. Morozova et al. identified a total of 582 genes whose expression is modified by exposure to ethanol. Some of these genes are down-regulated, while others are up-regulated, and a different set of genes is up-regulated as the flies become more tolerant to alcohol. Such genes include genes involved in biosynthesis and the regulation of fatty acid metabolism. “Alcohol-induced fatty acid biosynthesis is well documented in [human] heavy drinkers”, write the authors. “The identification of multiple enzymes associated with intermediary metabolism and fatty acid biosynthesis in the response to alcohol exposure in Drosophila is, therefore, of particular interest.”

... more about:
»Ethanol »Expression »Morozova »alcohol

Morozova et al. then identified genes that affect sensitivity or tolerance to alcohol, by analysing flies with mutated versions of the genes identified in the microarray experiment. They find that mutations in these genes can induce increased or reduced sensitivity to the effects of ethanol at first exposure, followed by increased or reduced tolerance. Morozova et al. find that the development of tolerance is only partly dependent on initial sensitivity to ethanol.

Juliette Savin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com
http://genomebiology.com/

Further reports about: Ethanol Expression Morozova alcohol

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanotubes built from protein crystals: Breakthrough in biomolecular engineering
15.11.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria
15.11.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>