Pineal expression-promoting element (PIPE), a cis-acting element, directs pineal-specific gene expression in zebrafish

Yoichi Asaoka, Hiroaki Mano, Daisuke Kojima, Yoshitaka Fukada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pineal gland, sharing morphological and biochemical similarities with the retina, plays a unique and central role in the photoneuroendocrine system. The unique development of the pineal gland is directed by a specific combination of the expressed genes, but little is known about the regulatory mechanism underlying the pineal-specific gene expression. We isolated a 1.1-kbp fragment upstream of the zebrafish exo-rhodopsin (exorh) gene, which is expressed specifically in the pineal gland. Transgenic analysis using an enhanced green fluorescent protein reporter gene demonstrated that the proximal 147-bp region of the exorh promoter is sufficient to direct pineal-specific expression. This region contains three copies of a putative cone rod homeobox (Crx)/Otx-binding site, which is known to be required for expression of both retina- and pineal-specific genes. Deletion and mutational analyses of the exorh promoter revealed that a previously uncharacterized sequence TGACCCCAATCT termed pineal expression-promoting element (PIPE) is required for pineal-specific promoter activity in addition to the Crx/Otx-binding sites. By using the zebrafish rhodopsin (rh) promoter that drives retina-specific expression, we created a reporter construct having ectopic PIPE in the rh promoter at a position equivalent to that in the exorh promoter by introducing five nucleotide changes. Such a slight modification in the rh promoter induced ectopic enhanced green fluorescent protein expression in the pineal gland without affecting its retinal expression. These results identify PIPE as a critical cis-element contributing tothe pineal-specific gene expression, in combination with the Crx/Otx-binding site(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15456-15461
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume99
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Nov 26
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pineal Gland
Zebrafish
Vertebrate Photoreceptor Cells
Rhodopsin
Homeobox Genes
Gene Expression
Retina
Binding Sites
Genes
Reporter Genes
Nucleotides
exorhodopsin
enhanced green fluorescent protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

Cite this

Pineal expression-promoting element (PIPE), a cis-acting element, directs pineal-specific gene expression in zebrafish. / Asaoka, Yoichi; Mano, Hiroaki; Kojima, Daisuke; Fukada, Yoshitaka.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 99, No. 24, 26.11.2002, p. 15456-15461.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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