Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (appended verbatim from investigator's abstract): Size, shape and
growth of organisms are determined by the number and size of cells in
constituent organs. Cell number is determined as the balance of cell
proliferation and cell death (apoptosis). Defects in proliferative control are
central to malignancy. Apoptosis is a central feature of heart attack, stroke,
and degenerative diseases. There is substantial molecular understanding of
intracellular cell cycle and death programs. In vivo regulation must be
achieved through extracellular signals which are little understood. Such
regulation is probably absent from normal and transformed cells in culture, but
can be studied in vivo using the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster as a model
system. In the fruitfly, imaginal disc size is maintained by a homeostatic
mechanism called cell competition. Excessive growth on the part of some cells
is compensated for by reduced growth and loss of other nearby cells. Deficient
growth by some cells always leads to enhanced growth by their neighbors. The
molecular and cellular basis of cell competition is unknown. A genetic screen
has been developed to identify genes required for cell competition. The role of
such genes in growth and homeostasis will be defined through studies of cell
proliferation, cell survival and cell size, in part using a new reagent
specific for the apoptotic pathway. The molecular identity and role of
particular genes in cell competition will be determined. These studies will
provide the first genetic and molecular understanding of cell competition.
These studies will contribute to basic understanding of the spatial control of
growth in vivo and identify genes and pathways that may be important in the
cause, prevention , or treatment of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and
degenerative diseases.
Effective start/end date2/1/017/31/12


  • Cell Biology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cancer Research


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