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Mech Dev. 2002 May;113(2):149-52.

Expression of zebrafish mab21 genes marks the differentiating eye, midbrain and neural tube.

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Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


Mab21 homolog in Caenorhabditis elegans is expressed in the sensory ray cells and determines the ray identity (Dev. Dyn. 221 (2001) 422). Similarly, vertebrate homologs of this gene have been shown to express in the craniofacial tissues, limb bud and neural tissues. We report here the cloning and expression analysis of two zebrafish mab21 genes. Both genes have a conserved open reading frame of 1080 nucleotides. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the two family subgroups existed prior to the divergence of vertebrates. Their expression profiles revealed that mab21l1 was turned on in embryos as early as 8 h post-fertilization (hpf) while mab21l2 was first detected at around 11 hpf. In situ hybridization results showed that expression of these mab21 genes marked the early differentiating olfactory bulbs, eye primordia, midbrain and subsequently the branchial pouches and neural tube.

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