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Xenopus Models of Organogenesis and Disease

Mini Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01660

Xenopus models of cancer: Expanding the Oncologist’s toolbox

Laura Hardwick1 and  Anna Philpott1*
  • 1University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

The use of the Xenopus model system has provided diverse contributions to cancer research, not least because of the striking parallels between tumour pathogenesis and early embryo development. Cell cycle regulation, signalling pathways and cell behaviours such as migration are frequently perturbed in cancers; all have been investigated using Xenopus, and these developmental events can additionally act as an assay for drug development studies. In this mini-review, we focus our discussion primarily on whole embryo Xenopus models informing cancer biology; the contributions to date and future potential. Insights into tumour immunity, oncogene function and visualisation of vascular responses during tumour formation have all been achieved with naturally occurring tumours and induced-tumour-like-structures (ITLS) in Xenopus. Finally, as we are now entering the era of genetically modified Xenopus models, we can harness genome editing techniques to recapitulate human disease through creating embryos with analogous genetic abnormalities. With the speed, versatility and accessibility that epitomise the Xenopus system, this new range of pre-clinical Xenopus models has great potential to advance our mechanistic understanding of oncogenesis and provide an early in vivo model for chemotherapeutic development.

Keywords: Xenopus, Cancer, tumour, oncogene, transgenic

Received: 12 Sep 2018; Accepted: 02 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Karen Liu, King's College London, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Jacques Robert, Medical Center, University of Rochester, United States
Amy K. Sater, University of Houston, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Hardwick and Philpott. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Anna Philpott, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1TN, England, United Kingdom, ap113@cam.ac.uk