Characterization of the laminin gene family and evolution in zebrafish



Laminins are essential components of all basement membranes and are fundamental to tissue development and homeostasis. Humans possess at least 16 different heterotrimeric laminin complexes formed through different combinations of alpha, beta, and gamma chains. Individual chains appear to exhibit unique expression patterns, leading to the notion that overlap between expression domains governs the constitution of complexes found within particular tissues. However, the spatial and temporal expression of laminin genes has not been comprehensively analyzed in any vertebrate model to date. Here, we describe the tissue-specific expression patterns of all laminin genes in the zebrafish, throughout embryonic development and into the “post-juvenile” period, which is representative of the adult body form. In addition, we present phylogenetic and microsynteny analyses, which demonstrate that the majority of our zebrafish sequences are orthologous to human laminin genes. Together, these data represent a fundamental resource for the study of vertebrate laminins. Developmental Dynamics 240:422–431, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.