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The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster as an alternative animal model for Translational Science of molecular mechanisms of human liver diseases

Grant number: 19/16406-2
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2020 - December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Cooperation agreement: CNRS
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Karen Cristiane Martinez de Moraes
Grantee:Karen Cristiane Martinez de Moraes
Principal investigator abroad: Jacques Montagne
Institution abroad: Institut de Biologie Intégrative de la Cellule (I2BC), France
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/05286-3 - Mechanistic and functional analyses of the microRNA-1914-5p in the nonalcoholic hepatic pro-steatotic processes in cell culture model, AP.R


Liver diseases are a major health problem worldwide and the number of people affected by nonalcoholic fat liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasing in the past decades. The pathology may progress from benign non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) to more advanced stages such as cirrhosis and hepatocarcinoma. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease progression has to be deeply investigated prior to the development of innovative therapeutic strategies. In this context, RNA technology and novel genetic tools emerged as innovative and efficient molecular approaches to decipher the molecular routes that potentially control and/or reverse NAFLDs and the related pathologies. Dr Moraes has been awarded of a regular FAPESP grant to perform proteomics analysis following the misexpression of the micro RNA 1914-5p in liver-derived cell lines. In pro-steatotic cultured cells, this miRNA has been shown to control lipid metabolism, and it potentially targets more than 100 mRNA encoding proteins connected to this metabolism. To validate in an in vivo model the relevant candidates that will be identified in the proteomics approach, we plan to use the genetic tools of Drosophila melanogaster, which emerges as a powerful model system for the study of metabolic diseases. This collaborative project will strengthen the interactions between researchers from CNRS (Drosophila task) and the São Paulo State (proteomics task). (AU)