Cell polarity is the property of cells to be spatially oriented in a tissue or organ. The recognition that the orientation of cells within a tissue can control and contribute to the development of cancer is only very recent.
Indeed, loss of cell polarity is a hallmark of cancer and is associated with more aggressive tumours. The study of tumour models in the vinegar fly have indicated that a group of proteins required to regulate cell polarity called "Scribble" "Discs large" and "Lethal-giant larvae" play a key role in cancer progression. We have now shown that the human counterparts of these genes may similarly regulate the progression of tumour development.
In this proposal, we will examine how loss of the function of Scribble and similar genes promotes cancer using a combination of tissue culture studies and mouse experimentation. Understanding and identifying how this new pathway can regulate tumour development may provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention in cancer.
Dr Patrick Humbert
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Research Grant: 2007-2009
$68,652 per annum