Drosophila models of cell polarity and cell competition in tumourigenesis Chapter uri icon

Book Title

  • The Drosophila model in cancer


  • Cell competition is an important surveillance mechanism that measures relative fitness between cells in a tissue during development, homeostasis, and disease. Specifically, cells that are "less fit" (losers) are actively eliminated by relatively "more fit" (winners) neighbours, despite the less fit cells otherwise being able to survive in a genetically uniform tissue. Originally described in the epithelial tissues of Drosophila larval imaginal discs, cell competition has since been shown to occur in other epithelial and non-epithelial Drosophila tissues, as well as in mammalian model systems. Many genes and signalling pathways have been identified as playing conserved roles in the mechanisms of cell competition. Among them are genes required for the establishment and maintenance of apico-basal cell polarity: the Crumbs/Stardust/Patj (Crb/Sdt/Patj), Bazooka/Par-6/atypical Protein Kinase C (Baz/Par-6/aPKC), and Scribbled/Discs large 1/Lethal (2) giant larvae (Scrib/Dlg1/L(2)gl) modules. In this chapter, we describe the concepts and mechanisms of cell competition, with emphasis on the relationship between cell polarity proteins and cell competition, particularly the Scrib/Dlg1/L(2)gl module, since this is the best described module in this emerging field.

publication date

  • 2019