Transcriptional activity and developmental expression of liver X receptor (lxr) in zebrafish

Amena Archer, Gilbert Lauter, Giselbert Hauptmann, Agneta Mode, Jan-Ake Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Mammalian liver-X-receptors (LXRs) are transcription factors activated by oxysterols. They play an essential role in lipid and glucose metabolism. We have cloned the open reading frame of zebrafish lxr and describe its genomic organization. Zebrafish lxr encodes a 50-kDa protein with high sequence similarity to mammalian LXRα. In transfection assays, the encoded protein showed transcriptional activity in response to LXR-ligands. Treatment of adult zebrafish with the synthetic LXR ligand, GW3965, induced expression of genes involved in hepatic cholesterol and lipid pathways. Using qPCR and in situ hybridization, we found ubiquitous expression of lxr mRNA during the first 24 hr of development, followed by more restricted expression, particularly to the liver at 3dpf and the liver and intestine at 4dpf. In adult fish, all examined organs expressed lxr. In addition to a metabolic role of lxr, the temporal expression pattern suggests a developmental role in, e.g., the liver and CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1090-1098
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008


  • Expression pattern
  • Gene regulation
  • Liver X receptor
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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