Identification and characterization of Zic4, a new member of the mouse Zic gene family

Gene. 1996 Jun 26;172(2):291-4. doi: 10.1016/0378-1119(96)00111-4.


The mouse Zic genes encode zinc-finger (Zf) proteins expressed only in the cerebellum of the adult brain. The genes are the vertebrate homologues of the Drosophila pair-rule gene, odd-paired (opa). We identified a novel gene, Zic4, which belongs to the Zic gene family, through a genomic and cDNA cloning study. Zic4 is highly similar to Zic1, Zic2 and Zic3, especially in its Zf motif. An analysis of the genomic organization of Zic4 showed that the gene shares a common exon-intron boundary with Zic1, Zic2, Zic3 and opa. The chromosomal location of Zic4 was determined to be mouse chromosome 9 in the vicinity of Zic1, using an interspecific backcross panel. An RNase protection study showed that Zic4 is expressed only in the cerebellum during the adult stage, as are the other Zic genes. The temporal profile of mRNA expression in the developing cerebellum is similar to that of Zic3 which has a peak on postnatal day 5. These findings suggest that Zic4 is a gene which works cooperatively with other Zic genes during cerebellar development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cerebellum / embryology
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Female
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics*


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Zic4 protein, mouse

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D78174