Our previous study suggested a possible role for Sbno1, a mouse homologue of strawberry notch gene during brain development. In this report, we cloned the zebrafish homologues of sbno, and examined their expression pattern during embryogenesis by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Zebrafish have three sbno genes: one Sbno1 homologue and two Sbno2 homologues, sbno2a and sbno2b. We observed that the expression of sbno1 and sbno2a was initially ubiquitous and gradually became predominant in the central nervous system as development progressed. The expression of sbno2b was observed in non-neural tissues in contrast to the other two genes. sbno1 and sbno2a exhibited higher expression in distinct regions within the nervous system of pharyngula-stage embryos, suggesting possible differing roles for sbno1 and sbno2a during later stages of embryogenesis. Together, the observed gene expression patterns suggest an important role of sbno-family genes during development of the vertebrate central nervous system.
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