Phylogeny and expression of canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) genes in developing zebrafish



Background: Canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels are nonselective, calcium-permeable cation channels that are expressed in a great variety of organisms, tissues, and cell types. TRPC channels are known to be involved in the transduction of polymodal sensory input. Additionally, they are implicated in a variety of developmental processes. Distinct gating mechanisms have been elucidated so far, but their exact functional role in vertebrate organisms still needs to be resolved. Results: We now used the teleost Danio rerio to perform a comprehensive expression analysis of the trpc gene subfamily. Based on the sequence homology to the seven described mammalian TRPC channels, we identified 12 trpc genes in the zebrafish genome. All but trpc1 and trpc3 are represented by two paralogs. We further describe the specific expression patterns of trpc transcripts in whole-mounts during the first 5 days of development. Conclusions: Consistent with their proposed role in sensory transduction zebrafish trpcs are predominantly expressed in neural structures such as the olfactory, visual, mechanosensitive, and motor systems. Intriguingly, zebrafish paralogs show mainly nonoverlapping expression patterns, suggesting that duplicated genes have either split their functions or have adapted new ones. Developmental Dynamics 242:1427–1441, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.