Lv, W., Zhang, Y., Wu, Z., Chu, L., Koide, S.S., Chen, Y., Yan, Y., and Li, Y. (2008) Identification of WSB1 gene as an important regulator in the development of zebrafish embryo during midblastula transition. Acta biochimica et biophysica Sinica. 40(6):478-488.
To uncover novel genes potentially involved in embryo development, especially at the midblastula transition (MBT) phase in the developing embryo of zebrafish, Affymetrix zebrafish GeneChip microarray analysis was carried out on the expression of 14,900 gene transcripts. The results of the analysis showed that 360 genes were clearly up-regulated and 119 genes were markedly down-regulated. Many of these genes were involved in transcription factor activity, nucleic acid binding, and cell growth. The present study showed that significant changes in transcript abundance occurred during the MBT phase. The expression of eight of these 479 genes was identified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis, confirming the microarray results. The WSB1 gene, found to be down-regulated by the microarray and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses, was selected for further study. Sequence analysis of the WSB1 gene showed that it encodes a protein with 75% identity to the corresponding active human orthologs. In addition, WSB1 gene expression was detected at a higher level at 2 h post fertilization and at a lower level at 4 h post fertilization, consistent with the chip results. Overexpression of the WSB1 gene can result in the formation of abnormalities in embryos, as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The present study showed unequivocally that the occurrence of WSB1 expression is an important event during the MBT phase in the development of zebrafish embryos.