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Mech Dev. 1998 Jan;70(1-2):49-63.

The zebrafish Pax3 and Pax7 homologues are highly conserved, encode multiple isoforms and show dynamic segment-like expression in the developing brain.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Norway.


This study describes the isolation and characterization of zebrafish homologues of the mammalian Pax3 and Pax7 genes. The proteins encoded by both zebrafish genes are highly conserved (>83%) relative to the known mammalian sequences. Also the neural expression patterns during embryogenesis are very similar to the murine homologues. However, observed differences in neural crest and mesodermal expression relative to mammals could reflect some functional divergence in the development of these tissues. For the zebrafish Pax7 protein we report the first full-length amino acid sequences in vertebrates and show the existence of three additional isoforms which have truncations in the homeodomain and/or the C-terminal region. These novel variants provide evidence for additional isoform diversity of vertebrate Pax proteins.

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