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The guanine nucleotide-binding protein G(q) subunit alpha (GNAQ) gene encodes for a piece of a larger transmembrane signaling system. Activating point mutations in this gene are associated with uveal melanoma, an intraocular cancer. In a transgenic Danio rerio model for uveal melanoma, disruptions in the normal zebrafish stripe pattern were observed. To determine the role of GNAQ in the development, migration, and proliferation of pigment cells, zebrafish fins were amputated and pigment cells were measured. Our results support the observation that GNAQ mutations cause zebrafish to have darker skin pigmentation, but suggest that the pattern change is not due to increased pigment cell size. These findings can be used to promote future research that studies proliferation pathways as potential therapeutic targets.
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Hoelzli, Emily Elizabeth, "Mutated GNAQ disrupts pigment pattern formation in a zebrafish model of human uveal melanoma" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 27.