Transcriptional regulatory regions of gap43 needed in developing and regenerating retinal ganglion cells



Mammals and fish differ in their ability to express axon growth-associated genes in response to CNS injury, which contributes to the differences in their ability for CNS regeneration. Previously we demonstrated that for the axon growth-associated gene, gap43, regions of the rat promoter that are sufficient to promote reporter gene expression in the developing zebrafish nervous system are not sufficient to promote expression in regenerating retinal ganglion cells in zebrafish. Recently, we identified a 3.6-kb gap43 promoter fragment from the pufferfish, Takifugu rubripes (fugu), that can promote reporter gene expression during both development and regeneration. Using promoter deletion analysis, we have found regions of the 3.6-kb fugu gap43 promoter that are necessary for expression in regenerating, but not developing, retinal ganglion cells. Within the 3.6-kb promoter, we have identified elements that are highly conserved among fish, as well as elements conserved among fish, mammals, and birds. Developmental Dynamics 239:482–495, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.