Analysis of Cx43α1 promoter function in the developing Zebrafish embryo

B. Chatterjee, Y. X. Li, M. Zdanowicz, J. M. Sonntag, A. J. Chin, D. J. Kozlowski, G. Valdimarsson, M. L. Kirby, C. W. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Cx43α 1 gap junctions play an important role in cardiovascular development. Studies using transgenic mouse models have indicated that this involves an essential role for Cx43α 1 in modulating neural crest cell motility. We previously showed that a 6.8 kb mouse genomic sequence containing the promoter and upstream regulatory sequences of the Cx43α 1 gene can drive lacZ reporter gene expression in all neural crest cell lineages in the mouse embryo. To obtain further insights into the sequence motifs and regulatory pathways involved in targeting Cx43α 1 gene expression in neural crest cells, we assayed the activity of the mouse Cx43α 1 promoter in evolutionarily distantly related zebrafish embryos. For these studies, the 6.8kb Cx43α 1 genomic sequence and various deletion derivatives were used to generate GFP or lacZ expression vectors. The transcriptional activities of these constructs were analyzed in vivo after microinjection into one- or two- cell stage zebrafish embryos. These studies indicated that the mouse Cx43α 1 promoter can drive lacZ expression in neural crest cells in the zebrafish embryos. Analysis by whole mount in situ hybridization showed that the endogenous zebrafish Cx43α 1 gene is expressed maternally and zygotically, and expression is observed in regions where neural crest cells are found. To further elucidate the developmental regulation of Cx43α 1 gene expression, we screened a zebrafish BAC library and identified a clone containing the entire zebrafish Cx43α 1 gene and flanking upstream and downstream sequences. The upstream Cx43α 1 promoter sequences from zebrafish, mouse, and human were analyzed for evolutionarily conserved DNA motifs. Overall these studies suggest that the sequence motifs and transcriptional regulation involved in the targeting Cx43α 1 expression to neural crest cells are evolutionarily conserved in zebrafish and mouse embryos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
JournalCell Communication and Adhesion
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


  • Connexin 43
  • Neural crest cells
  • Promoter
  • Regulatory sequences
  • Zebrafish development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of Cx43α1 promoter function in the developing Zebrafish embryo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this