Translation repression by maternal RNA binding protein Zar1 is essential for early oogenesis in zebrafish.
In an effort to generate a desired expression construct for making heart-specific expression transgenic zebrafish, a Tol2 plasmid, which can drive EGFP reporter gene specifically expressed in the heart, was modified using subcloning technology. An IRES fragment bearing multiple cloning site (MCS) was amplified directly from pIRES2-EGFP plasmid and was inserted between the CMLC2 promoter and EGFP fragment of the pDestTol2CG vector. This recombinant expression plasmid pTol2-CMLC2-IRES-EGFP can drive any interested gene specifically expressed in the zebrafish heart along with EGFP reporter gene. To test the effectiveness of this new expression plasmid, we constructed pTol2-CMLC2-RED-IRES-EGFP plasmid by inserting another reporter gene DsRed-Monome into MCS downstream of the CMLC2 promoter and injected this transgenic recombinant plasmid into one-cell stage embryos of zebrafish. Under fluorescence microscope, both the red fluorescence and the green fluorescence produced by pTol2-CMLC2-RED-IRES-EGFP were detected specifically in the heart tissue in the same expression pattern. This novel expression construct pTol2-CMLC2-IRES-EGFP will become an important tool for our research on identifying heart development candidate genes' function using zebrafish as a model.