Bradford, Y.M., Toro, S., Ramachandran, S., Ruzicka, L., Howe, D.G., Eagle, A., Kalita, P., Martin, R., Taylor Moxon, S.A., Schaper, K., Westerfield, M. (2017) Zebrafish Models of Human Disease: Gaining Insight into Human Disease at ZFIN. ILAR journal. 58:4-16.
The Zebrafish Model Organism Database (ZFIN; https://zfin.org) is the central resource for genetic, genomic, and phenotypic data for zebrafish (Danio rerio) research. ZFIN continuously assesses trends in zebrafish research, adding new data types and providing data repositories and tools that members of the research community can use to navigate data. The many research advantages and flexibility of manipulation of zebrafish have made them an increasingly attractive animal to model and study human disease.To facilitate disease-related research, ZFIN developed support to provide human disease information as well as annotation of zebrafish models of human disease. Human disease term pages at ZFIN provide information about disease names, synonyms, and references to other databases as well as a list of publications reporting studies of human diseases in which zebrafish were used. Zebrafish orthologs of human genes that are implicated in human disease etiology are routinely studied to provide an understanding of the molecular basis of disease. Therefore, a list of human genes involved in the disease with their corresponding zebrafish ortholog is displayed on the disease page, with links to additional information regarding the genes and existing mutations. Studying human disease often requires the use of models that recapitulate some or all of the pathologies observed in human diseases. Access to information regarding existing and published models can be critical, because they provide a tractable way to gain insight into the phenotypic outcomes of the disease. ZFIN annotates zebrafish models of human disease and supports retrieval of these published models by listing zebrafish models on the disease term page as well as by providing search interfaces and data download files to access the data. The improvements ZFIN has made to annotate, display, and search data related to human disease, especially zebrafish models for disease and disease-associated gene information, should be helpful to researchers and clinicians considering the use of zebrafish to study human disease.