Two divergent slit1 genes in zebrafish

Dev Dyn. 2003 Nov;228(3):358-69. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.10386.


Members of the Slit family regulate axon guidance and cell migration. To date, three vertebrate slit1 genes have been identified in mammals and orthologs of two, slit2 and slit3, have been identified in zebrafish. Here, we describe the cloning of full-length cDNAs for two zebrafish slit orthologs, slit1a and slit1b. Both predicted proteins contain the conserved motifs that characterize other vertebrate Slits. slit1a and slit1b are both expressed in the midline, hypochord, telencephalon, and hindbrain. Apart from these shared expression domains, however, their expression patterns largely differ. Whereas slit1a is expressed broadly in the central nervous system (CNS) and in the somites, pectoral fin buds, tail bud, and caudal fin folds, slit1b is expressed in the olfactory system throughout embryonic and larval development, and in the retina during larval stages. Their expression patterns, particularly that of slit1a, suggest that Slit proteins may have roles in tissue morphogenesis in addition to their established roles in axon guidance and cell migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / genetics
  • Zebrafish / embryology
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • slit1a protein, zebrafish
  • slit1b protein, zebrafish