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Mech Dev. 2000 Oct;97(1-2):161-5.

Inner ear and lateral line expression of a zebrafish Nkx5-1 gene and its downregulation in the ears of FGF8 mutant, ace.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Technical University, Braunschweig, Spielmannstrasse 7, D-38106, Braunschweig, Germany.


An orthologue of the mouse homeobox gene Nkx5-1 was cloned and characterized in the zebrafish. As in the mouse and chick, the zebrafish Nkx5-1 gene is expressed in the ear placode and vesicle and in cells forming the vestibulo-acoustic ganglion. In addition, a novel expression domain, the lateral line, appears in the zebrafish, supporting a common precursor hypothesis for these two organs. In the FGF8 zebrafish mutant ace, expression of Nkx5-1 in the otic structures is diminished. The most significant reduction of zfNkx5-1 expression was observed in cells of the vestibulo-acoustic ganglion.

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