Recapitulation of zebrafish sncga expression pattern and labeling the habenular complex in transgenic zebrafish using green fluorescent protein reporter gene



Human synuclein family consists of α-, β-, and γ-synucleins. Here, we cloned three genes, sncb, sncga and sncgb from zebrafish. They encode β-, γ1-, and γ2-synucleins, respectively. The zSyn-β, zSyn-γ1, and zSyn-γ2 proteins display 69%, 47%, and 50% identity to human β-synuclein and γ-synuclein, respectively. By reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, we demonstrated that sncb and sncga mRNA were abundant in brain and eye, while sncgb expression was moderate in brain, kidney, ovary and testis. The 1.8-kb 5′-upstream/promoter region of the sncga gene was sufficient to direct green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in the central nervous system and cranial ganglions. A transgenic line, Tg(sncga:GFP), was generated and its GFP expression is similar to that of endogenous sncga mRNA. Moreover, this line also labels the habenular complex and the domain of GFP expression is larger in the left than in the right habenula. Thus, this line can be used to study sncga gene regulation and for left–right asymmetry study in zebrafish brain. Developmental Dynamics 238:746–754, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.