Development Genes and Evolution

, Volume 207, Issue 1, pp 51–63

Three novel Notch genes in zebrafish: implications for vertebrate Notch gene evolution and function

  • Jonatan Westin
  • M. Lardelli

DOI: 10.1007/s004270050091

Cite this article as:
Westin, J. & Lardelli, M. Dev Gene Evol (1997) 207: 51. doi:10.1007/s004270050091


Notch genes encode transmembrane receptors that interact with numerous signal transduction pathways and are essential for animal development. To facilitate analysis of vertebrate Notch gene function, we isolated cDNA fragments of three novel Notch genes from zebrafish (Danio rerio), Notch1b, Notch5 and Notch6. Notch1b is a second zebrafish Notch1 gene. From analysis of the Notch1b sequence we argue that the various vertebrate Notch gene subfamilies encode receptors with different signalling specificities. Notch5 and Notch6 represent novel vertebrate Notch gene subfamilies. Remarkably, Notch1b lacks expression in presomitic mesoderm, Notch5 is expressed in a metameric pattern within the presomitic mesoderm whilst Notch6 expression is excluded from the nervous system. The expression patterns of these genes suggest important roles in gastrulation, somitogenesis, tail bud extension, myogenesis, heart development and neurogenesis. We discuss the implications of our observations for Notch gene evolution and function.

Key words Notch genesGene duplicationGene expressionSomitogenesisGastrulation

Supplementary material

427_1997_51_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (14 kb)
Figure S1 AAlignment of Notch1a with Notch1b (left) and Notch5 (right). (PDF 15 KB)
427_1997_51_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (13 kb)
Figure S1 BAlignment of Notch1a with Notch6 (PDF 14 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonatan Westin
    • 1
  • M. Lardelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental Neuroscience, BMCUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden