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Trends Genet. 2006 Dec;22(12):654-61. Epub 2006 Oct 10.

From Mendelian to molecular genetics: the Xiphophorus melanoma model.

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University of Wurzburg, Physiological Chemistry I, Biocenter, D-97074 Wurzburg, Germany.


In human tumor biopsies it is almost impossible to pinpoint the particular molecular abnormalities that determine neoplasia. In animal models where tumorigenesis is initiated by clearly defined genetic events, it is possible to study the genes and their functions that make a normal cell become a fully malignant cancer cell. In the fish Xiphophorus, melanoma can be initiated by simple crossings, and the signaling pathways that govern tumor growth and progression can be delineated. This model offers the prospect of obtaining a complete picture of the molecular changes and regulatory networks underlying tumor formation, which should contribute to a better understanding of some general principles of cancer biology, and identify new targets for melanoma research in particular.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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