Among other things, the authors present evidence that RNAi-based knockdown of glutathione synthetase (GS) in S2 cells enhances cell sensitivity to arsenite. Raising the question in my mind, Could other factors in the pathway be revealed in a genome-scale RNAi screen?
But why do we care? The authors point out that arsenic is a contaminant of drinking water. And different human populations (and the authors show, different Drosophila populations) respond differently to various levels of contamination, suggesting a genetic link to sensitivity.
Thus, gaining a better understanding of genetic links to arsenite sensitivity may have important implications for water policy decisions and human health.