Molecular cloning and developmental expression of foxP2 in zebrafish



Forkhead domain transcription factors are a large gene family with multiple roles in development. FOXP2, a recently identified member of this family, has been shown to be critical for normal development of language in humans, but little is known of its broader function during nervous system development. We report here the cloning of foxP2, the zebrafish ortholog of FOXP2. Zebrafish FoxP2 is highly conserved in its zinc-finger and forkhead domains, but lacks the large glutamine repeat characteristic of its orthologs. In examining the spatial and temporal distribution of foxP2 during development, we find that it is specifically expressed in many domains of the nervous system, including the telencephalon, diencephalon, cerebellum, hindbrain, tectum, retinal ganglion cells, and spinal cord. Thus, in addition to specific roles in language development, foxP2 likely has a more general conserved role in nervous system development. Developmental Dynamics 234:740–746, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.