Zebrafish in rare kidney disease study

A collaboration between UK and Hungarian researchers has identified a gene associated with a rare kidney disease, only two cases of which have been described so far.

After analysing the DNA of patients with the disease, the scientists from University College London Institute of Child Health, UK and Semmelweis University, Budapest, identified the gene involved and replicated the condition in zebrafish.

Zebrafish with the gene mutation showed similar symptoms, proving that the gene was directly involved in causing disease and offering an insight into how it might be passed through generations of one family.

“We selected the zebrafish because it carries a version of the gene that is very similar to that of humans, making it a great model system to study,” said Dr Jennie Chandler, co-author of the study.

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