Zebrafish model of neuroblastoma metastasis

Zuag Paj Her, Kok Siong Yeo, Cassie Howe, Taylor Levee, Shizhen Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zebrafish has emerged as an important animal model to study human diseases, especially cancer. Along with the robust transgenic and genome editing technologies applied in zebrafish modeling, the ease of maintenance, high-yield productivity, and powerful live imaging altogether make the zebrafish a valuable model system to study metastasis and cellular and molecular bases underlying this process in vivo. The first zebrafish neuroblastoma (NB) model of metastasis was developed by overexpressing two oncogenes, MYCN and LMO1, under control of the dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (dβh) promoter. Co-overexpressed MYCN and LMO1 led to the reduced latency and increased penetrance of neuroblastomagenesis, as well as accelerated distant metastasis of tumor cells. This new model reliably reiterates many key features of human metastatic NB, including involvement of clinically relevant and metastasis-associated genetic alterations; natural and spontaneous development of metastasis in vivo; and conserved sites of metastases. Therefore, the zebrafish model possesses unique advantages to dissect the complex process of tumor metastasis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62416
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number169
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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