Zebrafish as a Model for the Study of Solid Malignancies

Genevieve C Kendall, James F Amatruda
Methods in Molecular Biology 2016, 1451: 121-42
Zebrafish cancer models have provided critical insight into understanding the link between aberrant developmental pathways and tumorigenesis. The unique strengths of zebrafish as compared to other vertebrate model systems include the combination of fecundity, readily available and efficient transgenesis techniques, transparency that facilitates in vivo cell lineage tracing, and amenability for high-throughput applications. In addition to early embryo readouts, zebrafish can develop tumors at ages ranging from 2 weeks old to adulthood. Tumorigenesis is driven by genetically introducing oncogenes using selected promoter/tissue-specific expression, with either mosaic expression or with the generation of a stable transgenic line. Here, we detail a research pipeline to facilitate the study of human oncogenes in zebrafish systems. The goals of this approach are to identify conserved developmental pathways that may be critical for tumor development and to create platforms for testing novel therapies.

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