Ju B, Chong SW, He J, Wang X, Xu Y, Wan H, Tong Y, Yan T, Korzh V, Gong Z.
A 1,934-bp muscle-specific promoter from the zebrafish mylz2 gene was isolated and characterized by transgenic analysis. By using a series of 5' promoter deletions linked to the green fluorescent protein (gfp) reporter gene, transient transgenic analysis indicated that the strength of promoter activity appeared to correlate to the number of muscle cis-elements in the promoter and that a minimal -77-bp region was sufficient for a relatively strong promoter activity in muscle cells. Stable transgenic lines were obtained from several mylz2-gfp constructs. GFP expression in the 1,934-bp promoter transgenic lines mimicked well the expression pattern of endogenous mylz2 mRNA in both somitic muscle and nonsomitic muscles, including fin, eye, jaw, and gill muscles. An identical pattern of GFP expression, although at a much lower level, was observed from a transgenic line with a shorter 871-bp promoter. Our observation indicates that there is no distinct cis-element for activation of mylz2 in different skeletal muscles. Furthermore, RNA encoding a dominant negative form of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A was injected into mylz2-gfp transgenic embryos and GFP expression was significantly reduced due to an expanded slow muscle development at the expense of GFP-expressing fast muscle. The mylz2-gfp transgene was also transferred into two zebrafish mutants, spadetail and chordino, and several novel phenotypes in muscle development in these mutants were discovered.