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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 269-273

Understanding the genetics of gastric and esophageal cancer using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Venkatachalam Deepa Parvathi
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bbrj.bbrj_57_20

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Drosophila melanogaster, a vicious model, has helped in significant discoveries about several conserved mechanisms. The insect intestine had remained unexplored until the identification of adult somatic stem cells which triggered the invention of genetic amenability of this insect organ in powerful and artistic ways. A variety of mechanisms within the fruit flies' intestine are conserved in human gastrointestinal systems and will, therefore, become relevant within the context of human pathologies such as gastrointestinal cancers and obesity. In line with current guidelines, maintaining a high degree of suspicion of hereditary etiology (genetic involvement) helps in disease diagnosis. In this review, genetics of two crucial cancers are discussed. Mutation or transcriptional silencing of the cadherin-1 (CDH1) gene and tumor protein p53 gene is related to familial diffuse gastric cancer (GC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma, respectively. Testing for CDH1 mutations in patients with familial clustering of hereditary diffuse GC has proven consistent. Further studies on the expression and also the alteration within the proteins within the E-CDH pathways and Hippo pathway may function as biomarkers for early detection. Dysregulation of various mechanisms ends up in invasion, proliferation, and metastases. The promise of targeted therapy and personalized medicine in improving the clinical outcome is now closer than it has ever been.

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