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Aging: Reading, Reasoning, and Resolving Using Drosophila as a Model System

  • Nisha
  • Kritika Raj
  • Pragati
  • Shweta Tandon
  • Soram Idiyasan Chanu
  • Surajit SarkarEmail author
Chapter
  • 44 Downloads

Abstract

Aging is a complex process, involving both genetic and environmental factors, and can be defined as the time-dependent deterioration of the physiological and cellular functions necessary for survival and fertility. Some irretrievable series of biological changes occur during this phenomenon that inevitably results in the death of the organism. Although the exact cause of these changes is still unresolved and completely unrelated in different cases entailing no common mechanism, yet they often indicate a shared element of descent. Because of this mysterious behavior, aging process is still on the frontier of biomedical research and investigators are still trying to unravel the ambiguities of this phenomenon. The last few decades have shown remarkable improvement in the genetic analysis of aging, with a greater prominence near interpretation of molecular mechanisms, pathways, and physiological processes associated with longevity. Since limitations associated with human genetics do not permit identification or analysis of candidate gene(s) and pathway(s) and detailed comprehensive mechanistic studies, given the fact that the basic biological processes remain conserved throughout phylogeny from archaea to multicellular organism, model organisms allow easier execution of such studies. Therefore, utilization of model organisms for modifier screening and deciphering different aspects of aging phenomenon has emerged as a prime approach to study the details of aging. Out of several conventional model organisms, Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as an excellent system to interpret vital genetic/cellular molecular pathways of human aging, due to several advantageous characteristics including its short lifespan, short generation time, availability of powerful genetic tools, and conserved homology. Numerous key cellular events and pathways as well as drug discoveries have been untangled by exploiting Drosophila as a system of aging research. Thus, this chapter attempts to provide a brief outline of the role of Drosophila in understanding and easing out aging studies.

Keywords

Drosophila Aging Oxidative stress Dietary restriction (DR) Molecular chaperone Insulin signaling 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Research programs in the laboratory have been supported by grants from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, New Delhi, and DU/DST-PURSE scheme to SS. Nisha, KR, Pragati, ST, and SIC are supported by DBT-SRF, UGC-SRF, CSIR-JRF, UGC-JRF, and UGC-SRF fellowships, respectively.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nisha
    • 1
  • Kritika Raj
    • 1
  • Pragati
    • 1
  • Shweta Tandon
    • 1
  • Soram Idiyasan Chanu
    • 1
  • Surajit Sarkar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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