Genomic, cDNA, and embryonic expression analysis of zebrafish transforming growth factor beta 3 (tgfβ3)

Felicia S H Cheah, Ethylin Wang Jabs, Samuel S. Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


TGFβ3, a member of the transforming growth factor β family, regulates a spectrum of biological processes and is involved in mammalian pulmonary and craniofacial development. Homologs of human TGFβ3 have been identified in several vertebrate species. We sequenced a cDNA clone of zebrafish tgfβ3, consisting of a 271-bp 5′ untranslated region, a 1,233-bp open reading frame that encodes a predicted 410 amino acid peptide, and a 527-bp 3′ untranslated region. Using 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends, the transcription start site of this gene was determined to lie an additional 29 nucleotides upstream. The gene is composed of seven exons and maps to a segment of linkage group 17 that is syntenic to the human TGFβ3 locus on chromosome 14q24. One stimulating protein 1 (Sp1) and two (TATA binding protein) (TBP) transcription factor binding sites were identified in the putative promoter segment upstream of the transcription start site. Comparative alignment analysis revealed a high degree of tgfβ3 nucleotide and amino acid identity between zebrafish and other species, including complete conservation of the cysteine knot structure that facilitates protein-protein interaction. Also, 9 of 10 amino acid residues critical for ligand/receptor binding in human TGFβ3 are conserved in zebrafish, suggesting a high degree of functional conservation even in lower vertebrates. Zebrafish tgfβ3 transcripts were first detected in the notochord (10 somite to high-pec stage), followed by expression in the developing pharyngeal arch and neurocranial cartilage (18 somite to protruding mouth stage), lens and heart (21 somite to protruding mouth stage), and pectoral fins (prim-25 to protruding mouth stage). The strong expression in the pectoral fins, not reported in the orthologous mammalian forelimb, suggests a modified or novel function of tgfβ3 during early fish development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1030
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Cleft palate
  • Danio rerio
  • Heart
  • Lens
  • Notochord
  • Palatogenesis
  • Pectoral fins
  • Pharyngeal arch
  • Transforming growth factor β3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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