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Mol Cells. 2005 Apr 30;19(2):167-79.

Drosophila melanogaster: a model for the study of DNA damage checkpoint response.

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Ilsong Institute of Life Science, Hallym University, Anyang 431-060, Korea.


The cells of metazoans respond to DNA damage by either arresting their cell cycle in order to repair the DNA, or by undergoing apoptosis. This response is highly conserved across species, and many of the genes involved in this DNA damage response have been shown to be inactivated in human cancers. This suggests the importance of DNA damage response with regard to the prevention of cancer. The DNA damage checkpoint responses vary greatly depending on the developmental context, cell type, gene expression profile, and the degree and nature of the DNA lesions. More valuable information can be obtained from studies utilizing whole organisms in which the molecular basis of development has been well established, such as Drosophila. Since the discovery of the Drosophila p53 orthologue, various aspects of DNA damage responses have been studied in Drosophila. In this review, I will summarize the current knowledge on the DNA damage checkpoint response in Drosophila. With the ease of genetic, cellular, and cytological approaches, Drosophila will become an increasingly valuable model organism for the study of mechanisms inherent to cancer formation associated with defects in the DNA damage pathway.

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