We have identified a zebrafish homolog of the F3/F11/contactin (F3) recognition molecule. The gene shares 55% amino acid identity with F3 molecules in other vertebrates. Expression of F3 mRNA is first detectable at 16 h post-fertilization (hpf) in trigeminal and Rohon-Beard neurons. At 18-24 hpf, additional weaker expression is present in discrete cell clusters in the hindbrain, in the anterior lateral line/acoustic ganglion and in spinal motor neurons. Transcription factors of the LIM homeodomain class (LIM-HD) and their associated cofactors CLIM/NLI/Ldb (CLIM) have been implicated in the development of peripheral axons of trigeminal and Rohon-Beard neurons. We demonstrate that ectopic overexpression of a dominant-negative CLIM molecule early during zebrafish development strongly reduces expression of F3 mRNA in these neurons indicating regulation of F3 by the LIM-HD protein network. These results and the spatiotemporal correlation of F3 expression with axonal differentiation in a subset of primary neurons suggest an important role of F3 for axon growth.
|Journal||Mechanisms of Development|
|Volume||119 Suppl 1|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|