The zebrafish kidney marrow is considered to be the organ of definitive hematopoiesis, analogous to the mammalian bone marrow. We have sequenced 26,143 ESTs and isolated 304 cDNAs with putative full-length ORF from a zebrafish kidney marrow cDNA library. The ESTs formed 7,742 assemblies, representing both previously identified zebrafish ESTs (56%) and recently discovered zebrafish ESTs (44%). About 30% of these EST assemblies have orthologues in humans, including 1,282 disease-associated genes in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database. Comparison of the effective and regulatory molecules related to erythroid functions across species suggests a good conservation from zebrafish to human. Interestingly, both embryonic and adult zebrafish globin genes showed higher homology to the human embryonic globin genes than to the human fetal/adult ones, consistent with evo-devo correlation hypothesis. In addition, conservation of a whole set of transcription factors involved in globin gene switch suggests the regulatory network for such remodeling mechanism existed before the divergence of the teleost and the ancestor of mammals. We also carried out whole-mount mRNA in situ hybridization assays for 493 cDNAs and identified 80 genes (16%) with tissue-specific expression during the first five days of zebrafish development. Twenty-six of these genes were specifically expressed in hematopoietic or vascular tissues, including three previously unidentified zebrafish genes: coro1a, nephrosin, and dab2. Our results indicate that conserved genetic programs regulate vertebrate hematopoiesis and vasculogenesis, and support the role of the zebrafish as an important animal model for studying both normal development and the molecular pathogenesis of human blood diseases.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Nov 16 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas