This technology includes a Drosophila mutant strain that can be used as an in vivo model for diseases of the oral cavity and digestive tract (Sjogren's syndrome, colitis, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease), where the mucous membrane is disrupted or non-functional. This mutant lacks a mucous membrane and displays epithelial cell damage, uncontrolled cell proliferation and the up-regulation of conserved signaling pathways (JAK/STAT). Specifically, this mutant could be used to screen for compounds that either: 1) act to minimize damage to the epithelial cells in vivo; 2) stop uncontrolled cell proliferation in vivo; 3) rescue the abnormal up-regulation of conserved signaling pathways in vivo; and/or 4) act as a synthetic mucous membrane or mucin mimetic in vivo. Preliminary results suggest that this mutant can provide a great read-out for compounds that suffice in restoring the functional properties of the mucous membrane and therefore could be of potential use in treating patients that suffer from a compromised mucous
Screen for compounds to be used in the treatment of oral cavity and digestive tract disorders.
- It is a complete in vivo system, with intact, functional organs comprised of all the appropriately differentiated cell types
- Drosophila larvae are inexpensive to grow and maintain
- Large numbers of larvae can be easily generated to perform screening of many compounds