Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a rare congenital anemia, with more than 50% of patients having mutations in a ribosomal protein. Evidence suggests that both translation and p53 activation play roles in mediating the hematopoietic phenotype. The reason for erythroid specificity of DBA is unclear. Several zebrafish models of DBA have been generated, and these models have already provided key information about disease pathogenesis. The zebrafish model is particularly amenable for studying blood development, allows for advanced imaging techniques, can be manipulated genetically, and is useful for high-throughput screening. By applying zebrafish approaches to the existing DBA models, we will be able to better understand the role of the ribosomal protein mutation in DBA and develop better treatments for this disease.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Photo of Len Zon

The Zon laboratory aims to dissect how assaults to the hematopoietic system cause severe diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, and anemias. They investigate hematopoietic development and disease using chemical screens, genetic screens, and analysis of novel transgenic lines in zebrafish.

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