The objective of this project is to develop an in vivo colorectal cancer (CRC) model in Drosophila melanogaster to test the role of Ras and Wnt pathways in gastrointestinal cancer as potential therapeutic targets. To do so, we have (a) developed a CRC model in flies, (b) tested the levels of Ras and Wnt pathway activity in this model, and (c) will use drugs to find inhibitors of these pathways. Using fly mutants and transgenic flies we have created small patches of cancerous cells in the fly intestine in which have activated oncogenic Ras (mutation RasV12) and dominant negative p53 (mutation UASp53H15N) together with loss of function of APC using mosaic techniques. This model allows evaluation of multiple genetic combinations (one-, two-, or three- hit models) to evaluate the induced tumor, its growth profile and the effect of the drug on tumor growth.
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McCaslin, Kathleen T., "Establishing a Drosophila Colon Cancer Model to Study Interactions and Therapeutic Targets of Oncogenic Pathways" (2022). Honors Theses. 366.