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The actinin-associated LIM protein (ALP) genes belong to the PDZ/LIM protein family which is characterized by the presence of both a PDZ and a LIM domain. The ALP subfamily in mammals has four members: ALP, Elfin, Mystique and RIL. In this study, we have annotated and cloned the zebrafish ALP gene family and identified a zebrafish-specific fifth member of the family, the alp-like gene. We compared the zebrafish sequences to their human and mouse orthologues. A phylogenetic analysis based on the amino acid sequences showed the overall high degree of conservation within the family. We describe here the expression patterns for all five ALP family genes during zebrafish development. Whole mount in situ hybridization results revealed common and distinct expression patterns for the five genes. With the exception of elfin, all genes were expressed as maternal RNAs at early developmental stages. Gene expression for all of them appeared regulated and localized in specific regions at the eight different developmental stages studied. Expression for all five genes was observed in the central nervous system (CNS), which led us to further investigate brain-specific expression in sections of embryos at 2 days of development. In summary, we identified the zebrafish orthologues of the ALP family and determined their gene expression patterns during zebrafish embryogenesis. Finally, we compare our results to the limited expression data available for this gene family during mammalian development.

Original publication




Journal article


Gene Expr Patterns

Publication Date





297 - 305


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Cloning, Molecular, Embryonic Development, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Microfilament Proteins, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Zebrafish