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Isolated organs and cell lines from zebrafish exhibit circadian oscillations in clock gene expression that can be entrained to a 24-h light/dark cycle. The mechanism underlying this cellular photosensitivity is unknown. We report the identification of a novel opsin family, tmt-opsin, that has a genomic structure characteristic of vertebrate photopigments, an amino acid identity equivalent to the known photopigment opsins, and the essential residues required for photopigment function. Significantly, tmt-opsin is expressed in a wide variety of neural and non-neural tissues, including a zebrafish embryonic cell line that exhibits a light entrainable clock. Collectively the data suggest that tmt-opsin is a strong candidate for the photic regulation of zebrafish peripheral clocks.


Journal article


Brain Res Mol Brain Res

Publication Date





135 - 145


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Biological Clocks, Brain, Cell Line, DNA, Complementary, Evolution, Molecular, Gene Expression Regulation, Genomic Library, Molecular Sequence Data, Photoperiod, Phylogeny, Rod Opsins, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Takifugu, Viscera, Zebrafish