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Mech Dev. 1997 May;63(2):133-43.

Inactivation of the zebrafish homologue of Chx10 by antisense oligonucleotides causes eye malformations similar to the ocular retardation phenotype.

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DIBIT, H S Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.


We report the cloning of a zebrafish paired-type homeobox gene, Alx, closely related to the murine Chx10 and the gold fish Vsx-I homeodomain proteins. Alx is first expressed at about 12 h post-fertilization (hpf) when optic vesicles appear. Its expression is restricted to the early retinal neuroepithelium, whereas no signal can be detected in the optic placode. Later, Alx expression follows the differentiation of the neural retina. Inhibition experiments with antisense oligonucleotides resulted in specific eye malformations which are reminiscent of the phenotype of ocular retardation (or) mice, caused by a spontaneous Chx10 mutation. The expression of other developmentally relevant genes such as pax(zf-a), pax(zf-b) and krx-20 was not affected in the antisense treated embryos.

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