In recent years, a number of axon guidance genes, including Netrin (Net) and Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC), have been implicated in human cancers. Many of the hallmarks of human cancer, such as cell growth, invasion, evasion of apoptosis, and formation of a blood supply to the tumor, involve cellular processes that are critical during nervous system development. Here, the roles of Net-DCC in the regulation of these cellular processes in tumors and developing neurons are discussed. The advantages of using Drosophila to study the function of Net-DCC and other axon guidance molecules in these cellular processes, as well as the potential for cancer therapeutics targeting Net-DCC are highlighted.
Keywords: Netrin, DCC, axon guidance, cancer, apoptosis, metastasis, growth, angiogenesis
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