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Dev Dyn. 2006 Dec;235(12):3306-15.

Muscle-specific expression of the smyd1 gene is controlled by its 5.3-kb promoter and 5'-flanking sequence in zebrafish embryos.

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Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, USA.


Zebrafish SmyD1 is a SET and MYND domain-containing protein that plays an important role in myofiber maturation and muscle contraction. SmyD1 is required for myofibril organization and sarcomere assembly during myofiber maturation. Whole-mount in situ hybridization revealed that smyd1 mRNAs are specifically expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscles in zebrafish embryos. However, it is unknown if smyd1 is expressed in other striated muscles, such as cranial and fin muscles, and moreover, the regulatory elements required for its muscle-specific expression. We report here the analyses of smyd1 expression using smyd1-gfp transgenic zebrafish. smyd1-gfp transgenic zebrafish were generated using the 5.3-kb smyd1 promoter and its 5'-flanking sequence. GFP expression was found in the skeletal and cardiac muscles of smyd1-gfp transgenic embryos. GFP expression appeared stronger in slow muscles than fast muscles in transgenic zebrafish larvae. In addition, GFP expression was also detected in cranial and fin muscles of smyd1-gfp transgenic zebrafish larvae. In situ hybridization confirmed smyd1 mRNA expression in these tissues, suggesting that the expression of the smyd1-gfp transgene recapitulated that of the endogenous smyd1 gene. Deletion analysis revealed that the 0.5-kb sequence in the proximal promoter of smyd1 was essential for its muscle specificity. Together, these data indicate that smyd1 is specifically expressed in most, if not all, striated muscles, and the muscle specificity is controlled by the 5.3-kb promoter and flanking sequences.

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