ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-110811-36
Zona Pellucida Domain-Containing Protein β-Tectorin is Crucial for Zebrafish Proper Inner Ear Development
Yang, C.H., Cheng, C.H., Chen, G.D., Liao, W.H., Chen, Y.C., Huang, K.Y., Hwang, P.P., Hwang, S.P., and Huang, C.J.
Date: 2011
Source: PLoS One   6(8): e23078 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Huang, Chang-Jen, Hwang, Sheng-Ping L.
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Ear, Inner/embryology*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins/chemistry
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins/genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins/physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger/genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tectorial Membrane/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zona Pellucida/metabolism*
PubMed: 21829695 Full text @ PLoS One


The zona pellucida (ZP) domain is part of many extracellular proteins with diverse functions from structural components to receptors. The mammalian β-tectorin is a protein of 336 amino acid residues containing a single ZP domain and a putative signal peptide at the N-terminus of the protein. It is 1 component of a gel-like structure called the tectorial membrane which is involved in transforming sound waves into neuronal signals and is important for normal auditory function. β-Tectorin is specifically expressed in the mammalian and avian inner ear.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We identified and cloned the gene encoding zebrafish β-tectorin. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we demonstrated that β-tectorin messenger RNA was expressed in the otic placode and specialized sensory patch of the inner ear during zebrafish embryonic stages. Morpholino knockdown of zebrafish β-tectorin affected the position and number of otoliths in the ears of morphants. Finally, swimming behaviors of β-tectorin morphants were abnormal since the development of the inner ear was compromised.


Our results reveal that zebrafish β-tectorin is specifically expressed in the zebrafish inner ear, and is important for regulating the development of the zebrafish inner ear. Lack of zebrafish β-tectorin caused severe defects in inner ear formation of otoliths and function.