mab21l1 and mab21l2 paralogs have widespread and dynamic expression patterns during vertebrate development. Both genes are expressed in the developing eye, midbrain, neural tube, and branchial arches. Our goal was to identify promoter regions with activity in mab21l2 expression domains. Assays of mab21l2 promoter-EGFP constructs in zebrafish embryos confirm that constructs containing 7.2 or 4.9 kb of mab21l2 promoter region are sufficient to drive expression in known (e.g., tectum, branchial arches) and unexpected domains (e.g., lens and retinal amacrine cells). A comparative analysis identifies complementary and novel expression domains of endogenous mab21l2 (e.g., lens and ventral iridocorneal canal) and mab21l1 (e.g., retinal amacrine and ganglion cells). Interestingly, therefore, despite the absence of conserved non-coding elements, a 4.9-kb mab21l2 promoter is sufficient to recapitulate expression in tissues unique to mab21l1 or mab21l2.
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