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Science. 2006 Apr 14;312(5771):276-9. Epub 2006 Mar 23.

Conservation of RET regulatory function from human to zebrafish without sequence similarity.

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  • 1McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Evolutionary sequence conservation is an accepted criterion to identify noncoding regulatory sequences. We have used a transposon-based transgenic assay in zebrafish to evaluate noncoding sequences at the zebrafish ret locus, conserved among teleosts, and at the human RET locus, conserved among mammals. Most teleost sequences directed ret-specific reporter gene expression, with many displaying overlapping regulatory control. The majority of human RET noncoding sequences also directed ret-specific expression in zebrafish. Thus, vast amounts of functional sequence information may exist that would not be detected by sequence similarity approaches.

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