Madhuri Kango-Singh, Ph.D.
Drosophila is a powerful genetic model system to study cancer. In patients, a small number of mutations accumulate in cells that change their growth characteristics and eventually lead to the formation of tumors. These tumors are clonal in origin, meaning the cancer arose from the proliferation of a single rogue cell. We have developed similar "clonal" cancer models in the Drosophila brain to study how tumor cells interact among each other and with their neighbors. To study such interactions, we need to tag the tumor cells and their neighboring cells. Such differentially marked clone-pairs or ‘twin-spots’ are ideal for genetic and biochemical analysis. In this proposal, our goal is to develop tools to manipulate either the tumor or the normal neighboring cells or both, and test the effect on tumor growth and progression. These studies will allow deeper analysis of early changes in the tumor that are precursors for the aggressive and invasive characteristics found later. We will use glioma – a lethal brain tumor – as the cancer type of interest, and will use the variety of genetic tools available in flies to generate the twin-spots using different fluorescent tags.
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Ho, Minh T.D., "Drosophila Tumor Mosaic Models to Study Intercellular Interaction" (2019). Honors Theses. 216.