Using Drosophila melanogaster to map human cancer pathways

Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 Aug;5(8):626-39. doi: 10.1038/nrc1671.


The development of human cancer is a multistep process, involving the cooperation of mutations in signalling, cell-cycle and cell-death pathways, as well as interactions between the tumour and the tumour microenvironment. To dissect the steps of tumorigenesis, simple animal models are needed. This article discusses the use of the genetically amenable, multicellular organism, the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. In particular, recent studies have highlighted the power of D. melanogaster for examining cooperative interactions between tumour suppressors and oncogenes and for generating in vivo models of tumour development and metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oncogenes / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*