Modeling Lysosomal Storage Diseases in the Zebrafish

Front Mol Biosci. 2020 May 6;7:82. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2020.00082. eCollection 2020.


Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) are a family of 70 metabolic disorders characterized by mutations in lysosomal proteins that lead to storage material accumulation, multiple-organ pathologies that often involve neurodegeneration, and early mortality in a significant number of patients. Along with the necessity for more effective therapies, there exists an unmet need for further understanding of disease etiology, which could uncover novel pathways and drug targets. Over the past few decades, the growth in knowledge of disease-associated pathways has been facilitated by studies in model organisms, as advancements in mutagenesis techniques markedly improved the efficiency of model generation in mammalian and non-mammalian systems. In this review we highlight non-mammalian models of LSDs, focusing specifically on the zebrafish, a vertebrate model organism that shares remarkable genetic and metabolic similarities with mammals while also conferring unique advantages such as optical transparency and amenability toward high-throughput applications. We examine published zebrafish LSD models and their reported phenotypes, address organism-specific advantages and limitations, and discuss recent technological innovations that could provide potential solutions.

Keywords: CRISPR-Cas9; Lysosomal storage disease; chemical screening; genetics; metabolism; zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Review