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Cell Commun Signal. 2010 Jun 12;8:11. doi: 10.1186/1478-811X-8-11.

Small molecule screening in zebrafish: an in vivo approach to identifying new chemical tools and drug leads.

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MRC Human Genetics Unit and the Division of Cancer Research, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Crewe Road South, Edinburgh, EH4 2XR, UK.


In the past two decades, zebrafish genetic screens have identified a wealth of mutations that have been essential to the understanding of development and disease biology. More recently, chemical screens in zebrafish have identified small molecules that can modulate specific developmental and behavioural processes. Zebrafish are a unique vertebrate system in which to study chemical genetic systems, identify drug leads, and explore new applications for known drugs. Here, we discuss some of the advantages of using zebrafish in chemical biology, and describe some important and creative examples of small molecule screening, drug discovery and target identification.

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