Wojciechowska, S., van Rooijen, E., Ceol, C., Patton, E.E., White, R.M. (2016) Generation and analysis of zebrafish melanoma models. Methods in cell biology. 134:531-49.
The rapid emergence of the zebrafish as a cancer model has been aided by advances in genetic, chemical, and imaging technologies. Melanoma in particular highlights both the power and challenges associated with cancer modeling in zebrafish. This chapter focuses on the lessons that have emerged from the melanoma models as paradigmatic of what will apply to nearly all cancer models in the zebrafish system. We specifically focus on methodologies related to germline and mosaic transgenic melanoma generation, and how these can be used to deeply interrogate additional cooperating oncogenes or tumor suppressors. These transgenic tumors can in turn be used to generate zebrafish-specific, stable melanoma cell lines which can be fluorescently labeled, modified by cDNA/CRISPR techniques, and used for detailed in vivo imaging of cancer progression in real time. These zebrafish melanoma models are beginning to elucidate both cell intrinsic and microenvironmental factors in melanoma that have broader implications for human disease. We envision that nearly all of the techniques described here can be applied to other zebrafish cancer models, and likely expanded beyond what we describe here.