The zebrafish prospero homolog prox1 is required for mechanosensory hair cell differentiation and functionality in the lateral line

BMC Dev Biol. 2009 Nov 30;9:58. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-9-58.


Background: The lateral line system in zebrafish is composed of a series of organs called neuromasts, which are distributed over the body surface. Neuromasts contain clusters of hair cells, surrounded by accessory cells.

Results: In this report we describe zebrafish prox1 mRNA expression in the migrating primordium and in the neuromasts of the posterior lateral line. Furthermore, using an antibody against Prox1 we characterize expression of the protein in different cell types within neuromasts, and we show distribution among the supporting cells and hair cells.

Conclusion: Functional analysis using antisense morpholinos indicates that prox1 activity is crucial for the hair cells to differentiate properly and acquire functionality, while having no role in development of other cell types in neuromasts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Lateral Line System / cytology
  • Lateral Line System / embryology*
  • Lateral Line System / metabolism
  • Mechanoreceptors / cytology
  • Mechanoreceptors / metabolism*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / metabolism


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • prospero-related homeobox 1 protein