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Netrin and DCC: Axon Guidance Regulators at the Intersection of Nervous System Development and Cancer

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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.

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Keywords: DCC; Netrin; angiogenesis; apoptosis; axon guidance; cancer; growth; metastasis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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