A time course transcriptomic analysis of host and injected oncogenic cells reveals new aspects of Drosophila immune defenses

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 23;118(12):e2100825118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2100825118.


Oncogenic RasV12 cells [A. Simcox et al., PLoS Genet 4, e1000142 (2008)] injected into adult males proliferated massively after a lag period of several days, and led to the demise of the flies after 2 to 3 wk. The injection induced an early massive transcriptomic response that, unexpectedly, included more than 100 genes encoding chemoreceptors of various families. The kinetics of induction and the identities of the induced genes differed markedly from the responses generated by injections of microbes. Subsequently, hundreds of genes were up-regulated, attesting to intense catabolic activities in the flies, active tracheogenesis, and cuticulogenesis, as well as stress and inflammation-type responses. At 11 d after the injections, GFP-positive oncogenic cells isolated from the host flies exhibited a markedly different transcriptomic profile from that of the host and distinct from that at the time of their injection, including in particular up-regulated expression of genes typical for cells engaged in the classical antimicrobial response of Drosophila.

Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster; RasV12; cancer; chemoreceptor; innate immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Resistance
  • Drosophila
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Immunity*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Transcriptome*