Liver cancer causes half a million deaths worldwide every year. Because human liver tumours are heterogeneous, researchers have turned to transgenic animals in which the expression of a single oncogene is altered to unravel the molecular mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis. Li, Zheng et al. have developed a transgenic zebrafish line, To(Myc), in which the Tet-on system induces liver-specific expression of mouse Myc. MYC is often amplified in human liver cancer. All of the transgenic fish developed liver tumours following induction of Myc expression and, importantly, the gene expression pattern in these cancers resembled that in human hepatocellular carcinomas and in Myc transgenic mouse models of liver cancer. The researchers also identified 16 Myc targets using their model that could distinguish between advanced and low-grade human liver tumours. These results establish To(Myc) transgenic zebrafish as a model of human liver cancer. Page 414
- © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly cited and all further distributions of the work or adaptation are subject to the same Creative Commons License terms.