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Epithelial Tumors Originate in Tumor Hotspots, a Tissue-Intrinsic Microenvironment
Transformed mutant cells (pro-tumor cells) can evolve through a multistep process in which they become tumorigenic and invasive. Many genes that are involved in the different steps towards cancer development have been identified; however, how certain mutant cells destroy normal tissue organization and undergo uncontrolled proliferation during the initial stages of this process remains largely unclear. A genetic study by Tamori et al. in the wing imaginal discs of the fruit fly Drosophila reveals a mechanism of tumorigenesis by which pro-tumor cells initiate dysplastic tumor growth at specific "hotspot" locations in epithelial tissues. The image shows a transmission electron micrograph showing the basal side of epithelial cells in the hotspot of wild-type wing discs. Cells have been pseudo-colored to distinguish them from each other, and circular cross-sections of filopodial protrusions are colored bright red.
Image Credit: pbio.1002537