Fluorescence visualization of ultraviolet-sensitive cone photoreceptor development in living zebrafish

FEBS Lett. 2003 Oct 9;553(1-2):90-4. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(03)00977-3.


Cone photoreceptor cells of fish retinae are arranged in a highly organized fashion. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying photoreceptor development and retinal pattern formation are largely unknown. Here we established transgenic lines of zebrafish carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) cDNA with the 5.5-kb upstream region of the ultraviolet-sensitive cone opsin gene (SWS1). In the transgenic fish, GFP gene expression proceeded in the same spatiotemporal pattern as SWS1 in the retinae of embryos. In the adult retina, GFP expression was observed throughout the short single cone (SSC) layer where SWS1 is specifically expressed. Therefore, the transgenic fish provides an excellent genetic background to study retinal pattern formation, photoreceptor determination and differentiation, and factors regulating these processes and SSC-specific expression of SWS1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / radiation effects
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / embryology*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects
  • Rod Opsins / genetics*
  • Transgenes / genetics
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish / metabolism*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Rod Opsins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB087810