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Keywords:

  • amacrine cells;
  • enhancer trap;
  • maternal expression;
  • retina;
  • transgenic zebrafish

Potassium channel tetramerization domain containing proteins (KCTDs), which share a conserved BTB (Bric-a-brac, Tramtrack, Broad complex) domain at their N-terminus, are known to be involved in both developmental and neural processes. However, the developmental expression patterns and functional roles of most vertebrate KCTDs remain unknown. Using enhancer-trapping technology, we have identified a transgenic zebrafish line (ub49) where the vector insertion is in close proximity to kctd15a, and where transgenic marker (eGFP) expression closely reflects endogenous kctd15a expression. Both ub49 and kctd15a show strong maternal expression that suggests a functional role during epiboly and gastrulation. At later developmental stages, expression of eGFP in ub49 also shares the same spatiotemporal features as kctd15a in several neural tissues, including cranial placode precursors, retina, and different areas of the developing brain. In the retina, we observed eGFP labeling of the inner nuclear layer (INL), including a heterogenous population of amacrine cells, and both laminae of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). This expression pattern suggests that Kctd15a proteins have several context-dependent functional roles in both developmental and neural processes. The enhancer trap line, which is the first transgenic reporter of Kctd gene expression in vertebrates, also provides a novel tool to study kctd15a function in vivo.