Quantifying p53 Regulated Genes in a Zebrafish Melanoma Model

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Cancer is a prevalent disease and is one of the leading causes of death worldwide driven by mutations at the genetic level. An ideal model organism used for cancer research, specifically melanoma, is zebrafish as adult zebrafish display disappearance of their horizontal stripes and emergence of black masses. Zebrafish have highly conserved genes, comparable signaling pathways, and similar tumor development. This research project is designed to identify gene expression changes that are critical for the progression of melanoma in this model system. Wild-type and heterozygous p53 deficient (M214K) will be exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation to promote tumorigenesis. The expression of multiple genes in the p53 pathway will be monitored via qPCR during progression of the melanoma. Genes that are identified as up-regulated or down-regulated will be targeted using CRISPR-Cas9 to determine their role in the progression of the disease.



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