Caitlin Bourque

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The zebrafish is a useful model for understanding normal and cancer stem cells, but analysis has been limited to embryogenesis due to the opacity of the adult fish. To address this, we have created a transparent adult zebrafish in which we transplanted either hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells or tumor cells. In a hematopoiesis radiation recovery assay,(More)
The most common mutation in human melanoma, BRAF(V600E), activates the serine/threonine kinase BRAF and causes excessive activity in the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. BRAF(V600E) mutations are also present in benign melanocytic naevi, highlighting the importance of additional genetic alterations in the genesis of malignant tumours. Such changes(More)
Developmental signaling pathways hold the keys to unlocking the promise of adult tissue regeneration, and to inhibiting carcinogenesis. Patients with mutations in the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene are at increased risk of developing hepatoblastoma, an embryonal form of liver cancer, suggesting that Wnt affects hepatic progenitor cells. To elucidate(More)
The zebrafish has emerged as a powerful genetic model of cancer, but has been limited by the use of stable transgenic approaches to induce disease. Here, a co-injection strategy is described that capitalizes on both the numbers of embryos that can be microinjected and the ability of transgenes to segregate together and exert synergistic effects in forming(More)
Cancers contain a wide diversity of cell types that are defined by differentiation states, genetic mutations and altered epigenetic programmes that impart functional diversity to individual cells. Elevated tumour cell heterogeneity is linked with progression, therapy resistance and relapse. Yet, imaging of tumour cell heterogeneity and the hallmarks of(More)
Zebrafish is emerging as a unique model organism for studying cancer genetics and biology. For several decades zebrafish have been used to study vertebrate development, where they have made important contributions to understanding the specification and differentiation programs in many tissues. Recently, zebrafish studies have led to important insights into(More)
The two major melanoma histologic subtypes, superficial spreading and nodular melanomas, differ in their speed of dermal invasion but converge biologically once they invade and metastasize. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that distinct molecular alterations arising in primary melanoma cells might persist as these tumors progress to invasion and metastasis.(More)
The most common mutation in melanoma, BRAF(V600E), activates the BRAF serine/threonine kinase and causes excessive MAPK pathway activity1,2. BRAF(V600E)mutations are also present in benign melanocytic nevi3, highlighting the importance of additional genetic alterations in the genesis of malignant tumors. Such changes include recurrent copy number variations(More)
The receptor tyrosine kinase KIT promotes survival and migration of melanocytes during development, and excessive KIT activity hyperactivates the RAS/MAPK pathway and can drive formation of melanomas, most notably of rare melanomas that occur on volar and mucosal surfaces of the skin. The much larger fraction of melanomas that occur on sun-exposed skin is(More)
Multiplexing samples in sequencing experiments is a common approach to maximize information yield while minimizing cost. In most cases the number of samples that are multiplexed is determined by financial consideration or experimental convenience, with limited understanding on the effects on the experimental results. Here we set to examine the impact of(More)
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