The Quinn Group - Cancer Models

The Quinn Group uses Drosophila (vinegar fly) genetic models to elucidate complex molecular pathways driving cancer initiation and progression. Our core research uses in vivo cancer models to determine how complex developmental signalling pathways are integrated into transcriptional networks. In particular, we aim to understand how these networks coordinate cell growth and division to establish the body plan during development and also maintain tissue homeostasis in adult animals; as cell growth and proliferation are invariably dysregulated in human cancer. The group also has a strong interest in using in vivo stem cell models to determine the mechanism(s) by which the stem cell microenvironment or “niche” regulates stem and progenitor cell growth, division and differentiation.

Enquiries are welcome from potential Honours or PhD students. A variety of projects are available within all of the areas of research undertaken by this Group. Please contact us.

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Selected publications

  • O. Zaytseva, N.C. Mitchell, D. Muckle, C. Delandre, Z. Nie, J.K. Werner, J.T. Lis, E. Eyras, R.D. Hannan, D.L. Levens, O.J. Marshall, L.M. Quinn. Psi promotes Drosophila wing growth via direct transcriptional activation of cell cycle targets and repression of growth inhibitors. Development. 150 (2023). (5YIF: 7.799, accepted Jan 2023)
  • Olga Zaytseva, Naomi Mitchell, Linna Guo, et al., Leonie Quinn. Transcriptional repression of Myc underlies AGO1's tumour suppressor function. Development. 2020. 147: dev190231 doi: 10.1242/dev.190231. June issue “Research Highlight" and “People Behind the Papers” feature interview (5YIF: 7.799)
  • Nick Lim#, Belal Shohayeb#, Olga Zaytseva, Naomi Mitchell, Marie Bogoyevitch, *Dominc Ng, and *Leonie Quinn, (# co-first, *co-senior). Glial-specific functions of microcephaly protein WDR62, and interaction with the mitotic kinase AURKA, are essential for Drosophila brain growth. Stem Cell Reports 2017 v9 (1), p32–41 (IF 7.338).
  • Linna Guo, Olga Zaysteva, Zuqin Nie, Naomi C Mitchell, Jue Er Amanda Lee, Thomas Ware, Linda Parsons, Rodney Luwor, Gretchen Poortinga, Ross D Hannan, David L Levens, Leonie Quinn. Defining the essential function of FBP/KSRP proteins: Drosophila Psi interacts with the Mediator Complex to modulate MYC transcription and tissue growth. Nucleic Acids Research 2016 (IF 9.12)
  • Nicole Dominado#, John E. La Marca#, Nicole A. Siddall, James Heaney, Mai Tran, Yu Cai, Fengwei Yu, Hongyan Wang, W. Gregory Somers, *Leonie Quinn and *Gary Hime (# co-first author *co-senior and corresponding authors). Rbf regulates Drosophila spermatogenesis via control of somatic stem and progenitor cell fate in the larval testis. Stem Cell Reports 2016 7(6), 1152–1163. (IF 7.338).
  • Naomi Mitchell, Elissaveta Tchoubrieva, Arjun Chahal, Simone Woods, Amanda Lee, Jane Lin, Linda Parsons, Gretchen Poortinga, Katherine Hannan, Richard Pearson, Ross Hannan and Leonie Quinn. Signalling to ribosomal RNA synthesis: MYC-driven rDNA transcription requires S6 Kinase. Cellular Signalling 2015 doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2015.07.018.
  • Jue Er Amanda Lee, Naomi Mitchell, Olga Zaytseva, Arjun Chahal, Peter Mendis, Linda Parsons, Gretchen Poortinga, David Levens, Ross Hannan, and Leonie Quinn.  Hfp-dependent transcriptional repression of dMYC is fundamental to tissue overgrowth in Drosophila XPB models. Nature Communications 2015; doi:10.1038/ncomms8404.  [IF=10.742]
  • Olga Zaytseva, Nora Tenis, Naomi Mitchell, Shin-ichiro Kanno, Akira Yasui, Jörg Heierhorst and Leonie Quinn. ASCIZ regulates development and mitosis in Drosophila as a conserved regulator of Cutup/dynein light chain. Genetics 2014; 196 (2): 443–53. doi:10.1534/genetics.113.159541.
  • Poortinga, G., L. M. Quinn, and R. D. Hannan. 2014. Targeting RNA Polymerase I to Treat MYC-Driven Cancer. Oncogene 2014; (10) 1038/onc.2014.13.
  • Jane Lin, Naomi Mitchell, Elly Tchoubrieva, Mary Stewart, Steven Marygold, Richard Pearson, *Leonie Quinn and *Ross Hannan.  Drosophila Ribosomal Protein Mutants Control Tissue Growth Non-Autonomously via Effects on the Prothoracic Gland and Ecdysone. PloS Genetics 2011; 7 (12) e1002408 (*co-senior and corresponding authors)
  • Naomi Mitchell, Timothy Johanson, Nicola Cranna, Amanda Lee, Helena Richardson, Ross Hannan and Leonie Quinn. Hfp inhibits Drosophila myc transcription and cell growth in a TFIIH/Hay-dependent manner. Development 2010; 137, 2875-2884.
  • Adrian Monk, Nicole Siddall, Talila Volk, Barbara Fraser, Leonie Quinn, Eileen McLaughlin and Gary Hime. How is required for stem cell maintenance in the Drosophila testis and for the onset of transit amplifying divisions. Cell Stem Cell 2010; 6(4): 348-60.
  • Naomi Mitchell, Nicola Cranna, Helena Richardson and Leonie Quinn. The Ecdysone- inducible zinc finger transcription factor, Crol regulates wg transcription and cell cycle progression in Drosophila. Development 2008; (featured on the front cover). 135(16): 2707-16.