Thyroid Hormone Receptors in Two Model Species for Vertebrate Embryonic Development: Chicken and Zebrafish Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Chicken and zebrafish are two model species regularly used to study the role of thyroid hormones in vertebrate development. Similar to mammals, chickens have one thyroid hormone receptorα(TRα) and one TRβgene, giving rise to three TR isoforms: TRα, TRβ2, and TRβ0, the latter with a very short amino-terminal domain. Zebrafish also have one TRβgene, providing two TRβ1 variants. The zebrafish TRαgene has been duplicated, and at least three TRαisoforms are expressed: TRαA1-2 and TRαB are very similar, while TRαA1 has a longer carboxy-terminal ligand-binding domain. All these TR isoforms appear to be functional, ligand-binding receptors. As in other vertebrates, the different chicken and zebrafish TR isoforms have a divergent spatiotemporal expression pattern, suggesting that they also have distinct functions. Several isoforms are expressed from the very first stages of embryonic development and early chicken and zebrafish embryos respond to thyroid hormone treatment with changes in gene expression. Future studies in knockdown and mutant animals should allow us to link the different TR isoforms to specific processes in embryonic development.

authors

publication date

  • 2011