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Dev Dyn. 2008 Apr;237(4):1090-8. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21476.

Transcriptional activity and developmental expression of liver X receptor (lxr) in zebrafish.

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Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Novum, Huddinge, Sweden.


Mammalian liver-X-receptors (LXRs) are transcription factors activated by oxysterols. They play an essential role in lipid and glucose metabolism. We have cloned the open reading frame of zebrafish lxr and describe its genomic organization. Zebrafish lxr encodes a 50-kDa protein with high sequence similarity to mammalian LXRalpha. In transfection assays, the encoded protein showed transcriptional activity in response to LXR-ligands. Treatment of adult zebrafish with the synthetic LXR ligand, GW3965, induced expression of genes involved in hepatic cholesterol and lipid pathways. Using qPCR and in situ hybridization, we found ubiquitous expression of lxr mRNA during the first 24 hr of development, followed by more restricted expression, particularly to the liver at 3dpf and the liver and intestine at 4dpf. In adult fish, all examined organs expressed lxr. In addition to a metabolic role of lxr, the temporal expression pattern suggests a developmental role in, e.g., the liver and CNS.

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