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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1550; doi:10.3390/ijms18071550

Zebrafish as a Model Organism for the Development of Drugs for Skin Cancer

Biosensor Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Molecular-Cellular Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 14114 Tehran, Iran
Department of Aquaculture, Babol Branch, Islamic Azad University, 47134 Babol, Iran
Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland
Laboratory of Cutaneous Biology, Department of Surgical, Medical, Dental and Morphological Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41100 Modena, Italy
Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Oral and Maxillofacial Unit, Tampere University Hospital, 33014 Tampere, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Juliette Legler
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish: A Model for Toxicological Research)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1219 KB, uploaded 18 July 2017]   |  


Skin cancer, which includes melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, represents the most common type of cutaneous malignancy worldwide, and its incidence is expected to rise in the near future. This condition derives from acquired genetic dysregulation of signaling pathways involved in the proliferation and apoptosis of skin cells. The development of animal models has allowed a better understanding of these pathomechanisms, with the possibility of carrying out toxicological screening and drug development. In particular, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been established as one of the most important model organisms for cancer research. This model is particularly suitable for live cell imaging and high-throughput drug screening in a large-scale fashion. Thanks to the recent advances in genome editing, such as the clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) methodologies, the mechanisms associated with cancer development and progression, as well as drug resistance can be investigated and comprehended. With these unique tools, the zebrafish represents a powerful platform for skin cancer research in the development of target therapies. Here, we will review the advantages of using the zebrafish model for drug discovery and toxicological and phenotypical screening. We will focus in detail on the most recent progress in the field of zebrafish model generation for the study of melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), including cancer cell injection and transgenic animal development. Moreover, we will report the latest compounds and small molecules under investigation in melanoma zebrafish models. View Full-Text
Keywords: melanoma; squamous cell carcinoma; inhibitor screening; transgenic zebrafish; skin cancer; drug development melanoma; squamous cell carcinoma; inhibitor screening; transgenic zebrafish; skin cancer; drug development

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bootorabi, F.; Manouchehri, H.; Changizi, R.; Barker, H.; Palazzo, E.; Saltari, A.; Parikka, M.; Pincelli, C.; Aspatwar, A. Zebrafish as a Model Organism for the Development of Drugs for Skin Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1550.

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