Zebra Fish Model Of Human Melanoma Reveals New Cancer Gene

Looking at the dark stripes on the tiny zebra fish you might not expect that they hold a potentially important clue for discovering a treatment for the deadly skin disease melanoma. Yet melanocytes, the same cells that are responsible for the pigmentation of zebra fish stripes and for human skin color, are also where melanoma originates. Craig Ceol, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and collaborators at several institutions, used zebra fish to identify a new gene responsible for promoting melanoma. In a paper featured on the cover of the March 24 issue of Nature, Dr. Ceol and colleagues describe the melanoma-promoting gene SETDB1. Continue reading