, Volume 216, Issue 6, pp 291-299
Date: 07 Mar 2006

Identification of alternatively spliced dab1 isoforms in zebrafish

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We have investigated the genomic organization, the occurrence of alternative splicing and the differential expression of the zebrafish disabled1 (dab1) gene. Dab1 is a key effector of the Reelin pathway, which regulates neuronal migration during brain development in vertebrates. The coding region of the zebrafish dab1 gene spans over 600 kb of genomic DNA and is composed of 15 exons. Alternative splicing in a region enriched for tyrosine residues generates at least three different isoforms. These isoforms are developmentally regulated and show differential tissue expression. Comparison with mouse and human data shows an overall conservation of the genomic organization with different alternative splicing events generating species-specific isoforms. Because these alternative splicing events give rise to isoforms with different numbers of phosphorylateable tyrosines, we speculate that alternative splicing of the dab1 gene in zebrafish and in other vertebrates regulates the nature of the cellular response to the Reelin signal.

Communicated by M. Hammerschmidt