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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cloning of zebrafish activin type IIB receptor (ActRIIB) cDNA and mRNA expression of ActRIIB in embryos and adult tissues.

A full-length cDNA encoding for activin type IIB receptor (ActRIIB) was cloned from zebrafish embryos. It encodes a protein with 509 amino acids consisting of a signal peptide, an extracellular ligand binding domain, a single transmembrane region, and an intracellular kinase domain with predicted serine/threonine specificity. The extracellular domain shows 74-91% sequence identity to human, bovine, mouse, rat, chicken, Xenopus and goldfish activin type IIB receptors, while the transmembrane region and the kinase domain show 67-78% and 82-88% identity to these known activin IIB receptors, respectively. In adult zebrafish, ActRIIB mRNA was detected by RT-PCR in the gonads, as well as in non-reproductive tissues, including the brain, heart and muscle. In situ hybridization on ovarian sections further localized ActRIIB mRNA to cytoplasm of oocytes at different stages of development. Using whole-mount in situ hybridization, ActRIIB mRNA was found to be expressed at all stages of embryogenesis examined, including the sphere, shield, tail bud, and 6-7 somite. These results provide the first evidence that ActRIIB mRNA is widely distributed in fish embryonic and adult tissues. Cloning of zebrafish ActRIIB demonstrates that this receptor is highly conserved during vertebrate evolution and provides a basis for further studies on the role of activin in reproduction and development in lower vertebrates.[1]


  1. Cloning of zebrafish activin type IIB receptor (ActRIIB) cDNA and mRNA expression of ActRIIB in embryos and adult tissues. Garg, R.R., Bally-Cuif, L., Lee, S.E., Gong, Z., Ni, X., Hew, C.L., Peng, C. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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