Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54424. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054424. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

Establishment of HRAS(G12V) transgenic medaka as a stable tumor model for in vivo screening of anticancer drugs.

Author information

  • 1Division of Gene Regulation, Institute for Advanced Medical Research, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.


Most targeted anticancer drugs have been identified by screening at the molecular or cellular level in vitro. However, many compounds selected by such costly and time-consuming screening do not prove effective against tumors in vivo. The development of anticancer drugs would thus be facilitated by the availability of an in vivo screening system based on a multicellular organism. We have now established a transgenic line of the freshwater fish medaka in which melanophores (melanocytes) proliferate in a manner dependent on heat shock-induced signaling by a human RAS oncoprotein. The human HRAS(G12V) oncogene was expressed under the control of a melanophore-specific gene promoter in order to allow visualization of tumor growth in live fish maintained in a water tank. The expression of HRAS(G12V) was induced as a result of Cre-mediated recombination by exposure of the fish to a temperature of 37°C for 30 min, given that the Cre gene was placed under the control of a medaka heat shock promoter. One of the stable transgenic lines developed abnormal pigment cell proliferation in the eyes and epidermis with 100% penetrance by 6 months postfertilization. Sorafenib, an inhibitor of RAS signaling, was administered to the transgenic fish and was found both to reduce the extent of melanophore proliferation and to improve survival. The transgenic medaka established here thus represents a promising in vivo system with which to screen potential anticancer drugs that target RAS signaling, and this system can readily be adapted for the screening of agents that target other oncogenes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk