Regulation of synaptotagmin gene expression during ascidian embryogenesis

You Katsuyama, Jun Matsumoto, Toshiaki Okada, Yukio Ohtsuka, Ling Chen, Haruo Okado, Yasushi Okamura

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    The ascidian embryo, a model for the primitive mode of chordate development, rapidly forms a dorsal nervous system which consists of a small number of neurons. Here, we have characterized the transcriptional regulation of an ascidian synaptotagmin (syt) gene to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying development of synaptic transmission. In situ hybridization showed that syt is expressed in all neurons described in previous studies and transiently in the embryonic epidermis. Neuronal expression of syt requires induction from the vegetal side of the embryo, whereas epidermal expression occurs autonomously in isolated ectodermal blastomeres. Introduction of green fluorescent protein reporter gene constructs into the ascidian embryos indicates that a genomic fragment of the 3.4-kb 5′ upstream region contains promoter elements of syt gene. Deletion analysis of the promoter suggests that syt expression in neurons and in the embryonic epidermis depends on distinct cis-regulatory regions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)293-304
    Number of pages12
    JournalDevelopmental Biology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002 Apr 15


    • Ascidian
    • Epidermis
    • GFP
    • Motor neuron
    • Neural induction
    • Neuronal gene expression
    • Synaptotagmin promoter

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Developmental Biology
    • Cell Biology


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