Cutaneous and Developmental Effects of CARD14 Overexpression in Zebrafish

Avital Baniel, Limor Ziv, Zohar Ben-Moshe, Ofer Sarig, Janan Mohamad, Alon Peled, Gideon Rechavi, Yoav Gothilf, Eli Sprecher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gain-of-function mutations in CARD14 have recently been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP). Those mutations were found to activate the NF-kB signaling pathway. Objective: Zebrafish is often used to model human diseases in general, and in skin disorders more particularly. In the present study, we aimed to examine the effect of CARD14 overexpression in zebrafish with the aim to validate this model for future translational applications. Methods: We used light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, histological analysis and whole mount in situ hybridization as well as real-time PCR to ascertain the effect of CARD14 overexpression in the developing zebrafish. Results: Overexpression of human CARD14 had a marked morphological and developmental effect on the embryos. Light microscopy demonstrated a characteristic cutaneous pattern including a granular surface and a spiky pigment pattern. In situ hybridization revealed keratinocytes of uneven size and shape. Scanning electron microscopy showed aberrant production of actin microridges and a rugged keratinocyte cell surface, reminiscent of the human hyperkeratotic phenotype. Developmentally, overexpression of CARD14 had a variable effect on anterior-posterior axis symmetry. Similar to what has been observed in humans with psoriasis or PRP, NF-kB expression was higher in CARD14-overexpressing embryos compared to controls. Conclusions: Overexpression of CARD14 results in a distinct cutaneous pattern accompanied by hyperactivation of the NF-kB pathway, suggesting that the zebrafish represents a useful system to model CARD14-associated papulosquamous diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3192
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • CARD14
  • psoriasis
  • zebrafish

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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