Blader, P., Plessy, C., and Strähle, U. (2003) Multiple regulatory elements with spatially and temporally distinct activities control neurogenin1 expression in primary neurons of the zebrafish embryo. Mech Dev 120(2): 211-218.
The basic Helix-Loop-Helix gene neurogenin1 (ngn1) is expressed in a complex pattern in the neural plate of zebrafish embryos, demarcating the sites of primary neurogenesis. We have dissected the ngn1 locus to identify cis-regulatory regions that control this expression. We have isolated two upstream elements that drive expression in precursors of Rohon-Beard sensory neurons and hindbrain interneurons and in clusters of neuronal precursors in the anterior neural plate, respectively. A third regulatory region mediates later expression. Thus, regulatory sequences with temporally and spatially distinct activities control ngn1 expression in primary neurons of the zebrafish embryo. These regions are highly similar to 5' sequences in the mouse and human ngn1 gene, suggesting that amniote embryos, despite lacking primary neurons, utilize related mechanism to control ngn1 expression.