Challa, A.K., Beattie, C.E., and Seeger, M.A. (2001) Identification and characterization of roundabout orthologs in zebrafish. Mechanisms of Development. 101:243-247.
The Roundabout (Robo) family of receptors and their extracellular ligands, the Slit protein family, play important roles in repulsive axon guidance. First identified in Drosophila, Robo receptors form an evolutionarily conserved sub-family of the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily that are characterized by the presence of five Ig repeats and three fibronectin-type III repeats in the extracellular domain, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic domain with several conserved motifs that play important roles in Robo-mediated signaling (Cell 92 (1998) 205; Cell 101 (2000) 703). Robo family members have now been identified in C. elegans, Xenopus, rat, mouse, and human (Cell 92 (1998) 205; Cell 92 (1998) 217; Cell 96 (1999) 807; Dev. Biol. 207 (1999) 62). Furthermore, multiple robo genes have been described in Drosophila, rat, mouse and humans, raising the possibility of potential redundancy and diversity in robo gene function. As a first step in elucidating the role of Robo receptors during vertebrate development, we identified and characterized two Robo family members from zebrafish. We named these zebrafish genes robo1 and robo3, reflecting their amino acid sequence similarity to other vertebrate robo genes. Both genes are dynamically expressed in the developing nervous system in distinct patterns. robo3 is expressed during the first day of development in the hindbrain and spinal cord and is later expressed in the tectum and retina. robo1 nervous system expression appears later in development and is more restricted. Moreover, both genes are expressed in non-neuronal tissues consistent with additional roles for these genes during development.