Zebrafish: Predictive Model for Targeted Cancer Therapeutics from Nature
Nursafwana S. Zulkhernain,
Soo H. Teo,
Pei J. Tan.
Targeted therapy, the treatment of cancer based on an underlying genetic alteration, is rapidly gaining favor as
the preferred therapeutic approach. To date, although natural products represent a rich resource of bio-diverse drug
candidates, only a few have been identified to be effective as targeted cancer therapies largely due to the incompatibilities
to current high-throughput screening methods. In this article, we review the utility of a zebrafish developmental screen for
bioactive natural product-based compounds that target signaling pathways that are intimately shared with those in
humans. Any bioactive compound perturbing signaling pathways identified from phenotypic developmental defects in
zebrafish embryos provide an opportunity for developing targeted therapies for human cancers. This model provides a
promising tool in the search for targeted cancer therapeutics from natural products.
Keywords: Natural products, novel drug targets, signaling pathways, targeted cancer therapies, target identification, zebrafish
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