October 23, 2009
Radiation Responses in Drosophila
Dr. Tin Tin Su
University of Colorado, Boulder
We have been studying the importance of cell cycle checkpoints and growth factor signaling pathways to the survival of Drosophila larvae after exposure to ionizing radiation. The results from these studies allowed us to design a screen for small molecules that, when combined with radiation, kill checkpoint mutant larvae (Jaklevic et al., Genetics, 2006). A pilot screen through a small molecule library from the National Cancer Institute yielded known anti-cancer drugs that are effective in combination with radiation in mammalian models. The screen also yielded a new molecule that we have found to be able to eradicate human cancer xenografts when applied in conjunction with radiation therapy. Thus, Drosophila may be used as an in vivo whole animal model to screen for drugs that can be used in combination therapy with radiation.