Bovenkamp, D.E., Goishi, K., Bahary, N., Davidson, A.J., Zhou, Y., Becker, T., Becker, C.G., Zon, L.I., and Klagsbrun, M. (2004) Expression and mapping of duplicate neuropilin-1 and neuropilin-2 genes in developing zebrafish. Gene Expression Patterns. 4(4):361-370.
Previously, we described the isolation and characterization of the first zebrafish neuropilin gene, which we now call nrp1a, and found its protein to be a mediator of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-dependent angiogenesis [Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 99 (2002) 10470]. Subsequently, we have isolated three other full-length neuropilin genes (nrp1b, nrp2a, and nrp2b) and find that they map to independent zebrafish linkage groups. The nrp1s and nrp2s had differential spatio-temporal gene expression profiles with nrp1a being most prominent in the gut, brain, retina, hypochord, motorneurons, fin bud and mandibular cartilage, nrp1b in the brain, dorsal aorta, melanophores, ventral fin, and heart, nrp2a in the brain, retina, heart, and caudal vessels, and nrp2b in the brain, retina, gut, fin bud, melanophores, heart, and caudal vessels. In addition, we have identified an alternatively-spliced transcript of the nrp1b gene (denoted as nrp1b(s)) which is predicted to encode a soluble form of Nrp1b, containing only the a, b, and c extracellular domains. Transcript expression of nrp1b(s) was different from full-length nrp1b transcript, with prominence in the brain, developing mouth, heart, and fin bud. The NRP1s were tested for VEGF-binding ability. Both 125 kDa Nrp1a and 145 kDa Nrp1b bound (125)I-labelled VEGFA(165). In summary, two nrp1 and two nrp2 genes, with expression patterns similar to higher vertebrates, have been isolated from zebrafish.