Zebrafish (Danio rerio) in deciphering molecular mechanisms of human diseases

Snežana Kojić, Srđan Bošković, Jovana Jasnić, Nemanja Stamenković, Dragica Radojković


Summary. Biomedical research increasingly exploits zebrafish (Danio rerio) for genetic disease modeling and medical genetic research with the main goals of deciphering and understanding disease processes, and identifying new molecular markers and therapeutic targets. Zebrafish has emerged as a high-throughput and low-cost model organism based on the advantages that include the availability and ease of generating mutations in homologous disease-causing genes, the ability of noninvasive imaging for the analysis of phenotypes of different organs in an intact animal, and the suitability of zebrafish larvae for large-scale chemical screens. Identification of causative genes in human diseases and their functional characterization is enabled by forward and reverse genetic manipulation tools including CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing. Here we review the use of the zebrafish for biomedical research, with a focus on tumors, cardiovascular diseases and myopathies.

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