Zebrafish PKD-targeted services

The Model Systems Core offers zebrafish PKD-targeted services to PKD researchers both at Mayo Clinic and at other institutions.

These services are supported and complemented by the Zebrafish Facility at Mayo Clinic, which provides animal housing and extensive technical expertise.

The zebrafish is the premier nonmammalian vertebrate model organism that has a kidney, and it is well established as a model system for the study of polycystic kidney disease and other ciliopathies.

For PKD research, the zebrafish model can be used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of the disease, assess the functional role of human genetic variations, and screen for small-molecule suppressors in PKD zebrafish embryonic disease models.


The Model Systems Core offers five zebrafish PKD-targeted services:

  • Custom TALEN synthesis for targeted gene mutations. The core offers assistance with TALEN design and synthesis, and provides training on mutation screening and line development.
  • Small-molecule screening for cystic phenotype effects. A screen for small-molecule suppressors of a PKD zebrafish embryonic disease model demonstrated the viability of using zebrafish to explore chemical genetics questions. In addition, one major emphasis in PKD is the potential use of combination treatment approaches, so the zebrafish offers an opportunity to explore new small molecules and combinations of known drugs for preclinical efficacy testing.
  • Evaluation of pathways relevant to PKD, including, for example, microinjection of mRNAs or antisense morpholino oligonucleotides into embryos. The zebrafish embryo enables rapid in vivo testing of specific hypotheses related to PKD disease formation and progression.
  • Human sequence variation functional testing. Zebrafish can be used to discern functional differences in human sequence variation of candidate PKD loci. The Zebrafish Facility provides expertise to run comparable in vivo functional tests for human sequence variants identified in the Mayo Clinic Pirnie Translational Polycystic Kidney Disease Center.
  • Targeted training on current zebrafish technologies.

Available lines

Line Description Reference
Cup tc321 Pkd2 mutant Schottenfeld, et al., 2007; Brand, et al., 1996; Haffter, et al., 1996
Enpep-GFP Pronephric marker Seiler and Pack, 2010
hi4166 Pkd2 mutant Sun, et al., 2004
Locke Cystic mutant Brand, et al., 1996; Haffter, et al., 1996
Na pump-GFP Pronephric marker Liu, et al., 2007
Switch hitter Cilia mutant Brand, et al., 1996; Haffter, et al., 1996; Sullivan-Brown, 2007
WT1b-GFP Pronephric marker Perner, et al., 2007
GBT0046 Pronephric marker Petzold, et al., 2009; Clark, et al., 2011
pkd1a-/- Pkd1 mutant Zhu, et al., 2017

Lines may be available for distribution upon request.


Email us for more information about zebrafish PKD services.