The Apc tumour suppressor gene is mutated in 80% of colorectal cancers. Mechanistically its major function as a tumour suppressor is to negatively regulate Wnt signalling, preventing the activation of Wnt target genes. Due to the difficulties of studying intestinal cells ex vivo, a plethora of studies have been performed investigating gene function within the murine intestine following Apc loss. In this grant we propose to validate the Drosophila fly intestine as a model system to investigate Apc loss. Specifically we aim to use the Drosophila intestine as a screen for Wnt targets that are functionally important for the phenotypes of Apc loss. These experiments could dramatically reduce the numbers of murine intestinal experiments performed and yield new insights in to colorectal carcinogenesis.
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- Research Review 2013: Oncology research with the fruit fly