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Drosophila and the Hallmarks of Cancer

  • Theodoulakis Christofi
  • Yiorgos ApidianakisEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series (ABE, volume 135)

Abstract

Cancer was the disease of the twentieth century. Today it is still a leading cause of death worldwide despite being intensively investigated. Abundant knowledge exists regarding the pathological and molecular mechanisms that drive healthy cells to become malignant and form metastatic tumors. The relation of oncogenes and tumor suppressors to the genetic trigger of carcinogenesis is unquestionable. However, the development of the disease requires many characteristics that due to their proven role in cancer are collectively described as the “hallmarks of cancer.” We highlight here the historic discoveries made using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and its contributions to biomedical and cancer research. Flies are utilized as a model organism for the investigation of each and every aspect of cancer hallmarks. Due to the significant conservation between flies and mammals at the signaling and tissue physiology level it is possible to explore the genes and mechanisms responsible for cancer pathogenesis in flies. Recent Drosophila studies suggest novel aspects of therapeutic intervention and are expected to guide cancer research in the twenty-first century.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords

Cancer Disease Drosophila Hallmark Model Tumor 

Abbreviations

Hh

Hedgehog

Dpp

Decapentaplegic

Wg

Wingless

JAK/STAT

Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription

lgl

Lethal giant larvae

scrib

Scribbled

dlg

Discs large

EGF

Epidermal growth factor

MAPK

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

JNK

c-Jun N-terminal kinase

TNF

Transforming growth factor

UAS

Upstream activating sequence

G-TRACE

Gal4 technique for realtime and clonal expression

FRT

Flippase recognition target

MARCM

Mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker

esg

Escargot

csp

Caspase

Pdm1

POU domain protein 1

CSC

Cancer stem cells

Dronc

Drosophila Nedd2-like caspase

Dcp-1

Death caspase-1

PDGF

Platelet-derived growth factor

psr

Phosphatidylserine receptor

dSPARC

Drosophila homologue of secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich

ISC

Intestinal stem cells

MEN

Multiple endocrine neoplasia

RET

Rearranged during transfection

Csk

C-terminal Src kinase

PcG

Polycomb group

RB

Retinoblastoma

TP53

Tumor protein 53

DIAP1

Drosophila melanogaster inhibitor of apoptosis-1

IAP

Inhibitor of apoptosis

BCL

B-cell lymphoma

Debcl

Death executioner Bcl-2

BMP

Bone morphogenetic protein

piwi

P-element induced wimpy testis

GSC

Germline stem cell

FGF

Fibroblast growth factor

LINE

Long interspersed (transposable) elements

RNAi

Ribonucleic acid interference

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor

TSP-1

Thrombospodin-1

btl

Breathless

HIF

Hypoxia-inducible factor

dVHL

Drosophila Von Hippel–Lindau tumor suppressor

B. mori

Bombyx mori

FGFR

Fibroblast growth factor receptor

EGFR

Epidermal growth factor receptor

vFGF

Viral fibroblast growth factor

IMD

Immune deficiency pathway

EMT

Epithelial–mesenchymal transition

MMP

Matrix metalloproteinase

A-P boundary

Anterior–posterior boundary

Src

Sarcoma

Rho1

Rho GTPase

byn

Brachyenteron

GFP

Green fluorescent protein

SYCP1

Synaptonemal complex protein 1

l(3)mbt

Lethal 3 malignant brain tumor

ATP

Adenosine triphosphate

GLUT1

Glucose transporter 1

TOR

Target of rapamycin

Inr/PI3K

Insulin receptor/phosphoinositide 3-kinase

TrxG

Trithorax group

P. aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

IL

Interleukin

NF-kB

Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cells

Ubc9

Ubiquitin carrier protein 9

APC

Adenomatous polyposis coli

TSC

Tuberous sclerosis complex

S6K

Ribosomal protein S6 kinase

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

NF

Neurofibromatosis

RTK

Receptor tyrosine kinase

Shh

Sonic hedgehog

Ihh

Indian hedgehog

Dhh

Desert Hedgehog

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus

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