This model of prostate cancer is based on the observation that the Drosophila adult male accessory gland acts as a functional homolog of the mammalian prostate. It was hypothesized that normal cell growth and migration of secondary cells in the accessory gland may be regulated by Drosophila orthologs of known regulators of human prostate cancer progression. A number of the genes in this category are highly expressed in the male accessory gland; for several these, including shg, knockdown via RNAi was shown to result in changes in the number or migration of the secondary cells. (FBrf0226167)
Cadherins are a diverse group of transmembrane receptors which mediate cell-cell adhesion and cell movement. Dmel\shg is one of multiple cadherins in flies; there are also many cadherins in human. A low-scoring ortholog of Dmel\shg, human CDH1, has been implicated in susceptibility to prostate cancer (OMIM:192090).
Amorphic mutations of Dmel\shg result in embryonic lethality. For assessment of function in the accessory gland, RNAi-mediated knockdown of shg was controlled by using a temperature-sensitive driver and targeting newly eclosed, newly mated males. Knockdown of shg results in an increase in secondary cell migration in the accessory gland; the phenotype is variable with incomplete penetrance. Physical and genetic interactions of Dmel\shg have been characterized; see below and in the gene report for shg.
[updated Dec. 2016 by FlyBase; FBrf0222196]
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men and is usually very slowly progressive; it is diagnosed in an estimated 80% of men who reach age 80 (http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer; 2016.12.20).
The cadherin ("calcium-dependent adhesion") superfamily represents a diverse group of transmembrane receptors which mediate cell-cell adhesion and cell movement. (FBrf0146675)
See 'Gene Family: Cadherins' (http://www.genenames.org/cgi-bin/genefamilies/set/16) and 'Gene Family: Type II classical cadherins (CDH)' (http://www.genenames.org/cgi-bin/genefamilies/set/1186).
Low-scoring ortholog of human type II cadherin CDH20 (most closely related) and multiple others (many Drosophila to many human), including CDH1. Dmel\shg shares 19% identity and 29% similarity with human CDH20.