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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2003 Apr 10;112(1-2):135-45.

Teleost multiple tissue (tmt) opsin: a candidate photopigment regulating the peripheral clocks of zebrafish?

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Department of Integrative and Molecular Neuroscience, Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, W6 8RF, London, UK.


Isolated organs and cell lines from zebrafish exhibit circadian oscillations in clock gene expression that can be entrained to a 24-h light/dark cycle. The mechanism underlying this cellular photosensitivity is unknown. We report the identification of a novel opsin family, tmt-opsin, that has a genomic structure characteristic of vertebrate photopigments, an amino acid identity equivalent to the known photopigment opsins, and the essential residues required for photopigment function. Significantly, tmt-opsin is expressed in a wide variety of neural and non-neural tissues, including a zebrafish embryonic cell line that exhibits a light entrainable clock. Collectively the data suggest that tmt-opsin is a strong candidate for the photic regulation of zebrafish peripheral clocks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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