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Myc-Induced T Cell Leukemia in Transgenic Zebrafish

Science  07 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5608, pp. 887-890
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080280

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Abstract

The zebrafish is an attractive model organism for studying cancer development because of its genetic accessibility. Here we describe the induction of clonally derived T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in transgenic zebrafish expressing mouse c-myc under control of the zebrafish Rag2promoter. Visualization of leukemic cells expressing a chimeric transgene encoding Myc fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) revealed that leukemias arose in the thymus, spread locally into gill arches and retro-orbital soft tissue, and then disseminated into skeletal muscle and abdominal organs. Leukemic cells homed back to the thymus in irradiated fish transplanted with GFP-labeled leukemic lymphoblasts. This transgenic model provides a platform for drug screens and for genetic screens aimed at identifying mutations that suppress or enhance c-myc– induced carcinogenesis.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: thomas_look{at}dfci.harvard.edu

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