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Genesis. 2002 Nov;34(3):215-20.

Visualization of rod photoreceptor development using GFP-transgenic zebrafish.

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Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Zebrafish retina contains five morphologically distinct classes of photoreceptors, each expressing a distinct type of opsin gene. Molecular mechanisms underlying specification of opsin expression and differentiation among the cell types are largely unknown. This is partly because mutants affected with expression of a particular class of opsin gene are difficult to find. In this study we established the transgenic lines of zebrafish carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene under the 1.1-kb and 3.7-kb upstream regions of the rod-opsin gene. In transgenic fish, GFP expression initiated and proceeded in the same spatiotemporal pattern with rod-opsin gene. The retinal section from adult transgenic fish showed GFP expression throughout the rod cell layer. These results indicate that the proximal 1.1-kb region is sufficient to drive gene expression in all rod photoreceptor cells. These transgenic fish should facilitate screening of mutants affected specifically with rod-opsin expression or rod cell development by visualization of rod cells by GFP.

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