Alpha2 macroglobulin-like is essential for liver development in zebrafish

PLoS One. 2008;3(11):e3736. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003736. Epub 2008 Nov 17.


Background: Alpha 2 Macroglobulin family members have been studied extensively with respect to their roles in physiology and human disease including innate immunity and Alzheimer's disease, but little is known about a possible role in liver development loss-of-function in model systems.

Principal findings: We report the isolation of the zebrafish alpha2 macroglobulin-like (A2ML) gene and its specific expression in the liver during differentiation. Morpholino-based knock-down of A2ML did not block the initial formation of the liver primordium, but inhibited liver growth and differentiation.

Significance: This report on A2ML function in zebrafish development provides the first evidence for a specific role of an A2M family gene in liver formation during early embryogenesis in a vertebrate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / embryology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / embryology*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / pharmacology
  • Organ Specificity
  • Organogenesis
  • Pancreas / embryology
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • alpha-Macroglobulins / genetics*
  • alpha-Macroglobulins / metabolism


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • alpha-Macroglobulins