Hyperactivation of the Wnt pathway initiates the formation of colonic adenomas preceeding colorectal carcinomas (CRCs), while estrogen receptor signaling has a protective role in CRC development. In my project I am characterizing the functions of a transcription factor possibly linking estrogen related ecdysone signaling and local Wnt signaling in ISC physiology and pathology in Drosophila to get insights into the mechanisms by which steroid hormones may modulate Wnt signaling in CRC.
The division of intestinal stem cells mostly leads to the formation of enteroblasts, which differentiate into epithelial enterocytes. An in-silico analysis revealed the expression of several transcription factors in gut epithelial cells. In my project, I am studying the expression and function of newly identified factors in the adult Drosophila midgut to characterize their spatio-temporal expression and function in the maturation of intestinal progenitor cells and their involvement in progenitor pattern formation and differentiation. This could help to better understand the physiological processes in the mammalian gut.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the world which arises as a result of accumulated genetic mutations. My research focus is to investigate certain regulatory factors that drive the progression of CRC using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.