Differential expression of duplicated VAL-opsin genes in the developing zebrafish

J Neurochem. 2008 Mar;104(5):1364-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2007.05093.x. Epub 2007 Nov 23.


Non-visual opsins mediate various light-dependent physiological events. Our previous search for non-visual opsin genes in zebrafish led to the discovery of VAL-opsin (VAL-opsinA) in deep brain cells and retinal horizontal cells of the adult fish. In this study, we report the identification and characterization of its duplicated gene, VAL-opsinB, in zebrafish. A molecular phylogenetic analysis indicates that VAL-opsinB is orthologous to a previously reported salmon gene and that the duplication of the VAL-opsin gene occurred in the teleost lineage. The recombinant protein of zebrafish VAL-opsinB forms a green-sensitive photopigment when reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal. VAL-opsinB expression was detected in a limited number of cells of the brain and the eye, and the expression pattern is distinct from that of the VAL-opsinA gene. Such a differential expression pattern suggests that VAL-opsinA and VAL-opsinB are involved in different physiological events in zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Genes, Duplicate / physiology*
  • MafB Transcription Factor / biosynthesis*
  • MafB Transcription Factor / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Isoforms / biosynthesis
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Retinal Horizontal Cells / embryology
  • Retinal Horizontal Cells / physiology
  • Rod Opsins / biosynthesis*
  • Rod Opsins / genetics*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics*


  • MafB Transcription Factor
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Rod Opsins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • mafb protein, zebrafish