Liu, R.Z., Denovan-Wright, E.M., Degrave, A., Thisse, C., Thisse, B., and Wright, J.M. (2004) Spatio-temporal distribution of cellular retinol-binding protein gene transcripts (CRBPI and CRBPII) in the developing and adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). European journal of biochemistry. 271(2):339-348.
We have cloned and determined the nucleotide sequence of the cDNA coding for a cellular retinol-binding protein type I (CRBPI) from zebrafish. The deduced amino acid sequence of the zebrafish CRBPI showed highest sequence identity ( approximately 59%) to the mammalian CRBPIs of the intracellular lipid-binding protein (iLBP) multigene family. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the zebrafish CRBPI to the CRBPI clade. The zebrafish CRBPI gene (rbp1) and CRBPII gene (rbp2) both consist of four exons separated by three introns, identical to all other iLBP genes in vertebrates. Two transcription start sites were identified in the rbp1 promoter and a single transcription start site was identified for rbp2. Radiation hybrid mapping assigned the zebrafish rbp1 gene to linkage group 16 and conserved syntenic genes were found by comparative analysis of mammalian orthologous rbp1 genes. RT-PCR detected mRNA transcripts in the adult intestine, liver, brain, ovary and testis for rbp1 gene and in the intestine and liver for rbp2 gene. Whole mount in situ hybridization of zebrafish embryos revealed rbp1 mRNA expression in the developing zebrafish central nervous system at specific sites that are known to have abundant retinoic acid distribution and significant retinoic acid action. Whole mount in situ hybridization also showed that the zebrafish rbp2 mRNA was localized specifically in the embryonic intestinal bulb and the developing intestine during the larval stage, implying a novel function for the rbp2 gene product during organogenesis and development of the zebrafish intestine.