Manipulating Galectin Expression in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Techniques for disrupting gene expression are invaluable tools for the analysis of the biological role(s) of a gene product. Because of its genetic tractability and multiple advantages over conventional mammalian models, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) is recognized as a powerful system for gaining new insight into diverse aspects of human health and disease. Among the multiple mammalian gene families for which the zebrafish has shown promise as an invaluable model for functional studies, the galectins have attracted great interest due to their participation in early development, regulation of immune homeostasis, and recognition of microbial pathogens. Galectins are β-galactosyl-binding lectins with a characteristic sequence motif in their carbohydrate recognition domains (CRDs), which comprise an evolutionary conserved family ubiquitous in eukaryotic taxa. Galectins are emerging as key players in the modulation of many important pathological processes, which include acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, autoimmunity and cancer, thus making them potential molecular targets for innovative drug discovery. Here, we provide a review of the current methods available for the manipulation of gene expression in the zebrafish, with a focus on gene knockdown [morpholino (MO)-derived antisense oligonucleotides] and knockout (CRISPR-Cas) technologies.
Key wordsGalectins Zebrafish Morpholino CRISPR-Cas Gene expression Microinjection
Experimental work described here was supported by grant 5R01GM070589-06 from the National Institutes of Health to G.R.V.
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