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

Comparative analysis of Pax-6 sequence and expression in the eye development of the blind cave fish Astyanax fasciatus and its epigean conspecific.

The Pax-6 gene encodes a transcription factor essential for eye development in a wide range of animal phyla. In order to elucidate a possible role of Pax-6 in the eye regression of a blind cave form of the freshwater fish Astyanax fasciatus (Characidae, Teleostei) we investigated the expression of Pax-6 in eyes and brains of different larval stages by in situ hybridization. Pattern, strength, and time course of Pax-6 expression were not altered in the tissues of the cave form when compared to the epigean form. Pax-6 was even expressed in the highly degenerated eyes of late larval stages of the cave form. Comparative sequence analysis of Pax-6 cDNA clones of both forms of Astyanax fasciatus showed the complete integrity of cave fish Pax-6 mRNA. These results suggest that Pax-6 is not involved in the evolutionary process of eye degeneration in this model system of cave-living fishes. Comparison of the Astyanax Pax-6 cDNA with the other available fish Pax-6 sequence from zebrafish revealed putative fish-specific regions of homology. A stretch of 19 N-terminal amino acids is nearly identical on the nucleotide and amino acid levels in both fish species but not present in all other known Pax-6 sequences.[1]


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