Special Issue "Drosophila Models in Autophagy and Aging"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Autophagy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2024 | Viewed by 137

Special Issue Editors

Section of Cell Biology & Biophysics, Department of Biology, School of Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), Panepistimiopolis, Zografou, 15701 Athens, Greece
Interests: development; Drosophila models of human diseases; oogenesis; metabolic disorders; neurological pathologies; programmed cell death; proteasome
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Section of Cell Biology & Biophysics, Department of Biology, School of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), Panepistimiopolis, Zografou, 15701 Athens, Greece
Interests: development; cancer; chemotherapy; metastasis; programmed cell death; metabolism; Drosophila aging; brain signaling; proteasome
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Panagiotis D. Velentzas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
UMass Chan Medical School, Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology (MCCB), 364 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA
Interests: autophagy; metabolism; aging; Drosophila genetic models; development; apoptosis; proteasome; solute carriers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drosophila melanogaster is an established and widely accepted model organism for developmental studies that possesses unique advantages, such as a short lifespan, a simple but evolutionarily conserved nervous system, and a wide variety of transgenic strains and genetic tools. This powerful and advanced genetic toolbox allows for the rapid and reliable generation of transgenic flies, in which the manipulation (loss-of-function, or over-expression) of the gene(s) of interest is performed with unique and unprecedented precision in specific cells, tissues, and organs. Most importantly, over 75% of disease-associated genes in humans have corresponding orthologs in flies, and, remarkably, all key-molecular pathways are highly conserved, with many organ systems in mammals having equivalent systems in Drosophila.

As Drosophila cells age, they lose their ability to maintain proper protein folding and to eliminate misfolded proteins, thus leading to the accumulation of abnormal protein aggregates, and a loss of protein homeostasis (proteostasis). Two major protein degradation systems, the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) and the autophagy system (ATGS), are activated to avoid proteotoxicity, but during aging they are severely impaired. The Atg genes and the pathways that regulate autophagy are highly conserved between Drosophila and many animal species, including mammals, and critical discoveries about the mechanism of autophagy were identified and characterized for the first time in Drosophila. Altogether, the loss of proteostasis is considered as a hallmark of aging and seems to accelerate the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. Flies exhibit aging behaviors comparable to human aging, and, therefore, many transgenic models of specific neurodegenerative pathologies have been produced to elucidate the role(s) of autophagy in disease initiation, progression, and therapy response(s). Finally, evidence is being accumulated to strongly suggest that the (mid-)gut microbiome also critically contributes to longevity, in all species examined thus far.

Hence, high levels of genomic/genetic conservation combined with a wealth of cellular, genetic, and molecular resources render Drosophila an ideal model for studying neurodegeneration in vivo, and for illuminating the effects of aging in a significantly more reasonable time frame. Taken together, all types of studies related to autophagy, neurodegeneration, and aging in Drosophila are of major interest to this Special Issue.

Dr. Athanassios D. Velentzas
Dr. Dimitrios J. Stravopodis
Dr. Panagiotis D. Velentzas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cells is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • autophagy
  • apoptosis
  • brain–gut axis
  • brainopathies
  • development
  • Drosophila model of human diseases
  • microbiome
  • mitophagy
  • necrosis
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • proteostasis
  • signaling
  • ubiquitin–proteasome system

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop