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A fruit fly epithelial cell sheet displaying cancerous growth
Cancerous transformation of a cell is often accompanied by a loss of its original developmental program or what could be said as cellular memory (www.bpod.mrc.ac.uk/archive/2013/7/26). This project aims at unraveling mechanisms of loss of cellular memories during cancer progression and, at the same time, explore therapeutic opportunities by reversal of such processes. These investigations take advantage of the sophisticate genetic techniques of the fruit fly, Drosophila, wherein cancer can be induced by specific mutations (see image).
This is an Early Career Fellowship funded by Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance to Dr. Anjali Bajpai under the supervision of Prof. Pradip Sinha of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, This project will also have collaborative inputs from Dr. Ashwani Thakur of IITK and Prof. Marco Milan of Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), Barcelona, Spain.
A Drosophila epithelial cell sheet displaying cancerous growth (green) induced by mutation in a tumor suppressor gene, lgl. Note that these cancerous cells thrive only in regions where a protein called Vg (red) is not expressed. Cellular memories conferred by Vg expression antagonizes cancer growth.