SC Colloquium: "Modeling tumorigenesis in Drosophila epithelial tissues"
Epithelial tissues are highly organized systems that have a remarkable homeostatic ability to maintain their morphology through regulation of cellular proliferation and tissue integrity. This robust self-organizing system, however, is progressively disrupted during tumor development. Our studies of conserved tumor-suppressor genes in Drosophila have shown how pro-tumor cells deviate from the robustly organized tissue environment to take the first steps in their evolution into aggressive tumors. I will present the ‘tumor hotspot’ hypothesis that explains how tissue-intrinsic local microenvironment has an essential role in the initial stage of tumorigenesis in fruit fly epithelia and discuss the comparable mechanisms in mammalian tissues.