A novel zebrafish kelchlike gene klhl and its human ortholog KLHL display conserved expression patterns in skeletal and cardiac muscles.

PMID 15302408


In this study, a novel gene, kelchlike (klhl) was identified in zebrafish by whole-mount in situ hybridization screen for important genes involved in embryogenesis. A full-length klhl cDNA was cloned and characterized. We found that klhl was a member of the kelch-repeat superfamily, containing two evolutionary conserved domains--broad-complex, tramtrack, bric-a-brac/poxvirus and zinc finger (BTB/POZ) domain, and kelch motif. Database mining revealed the presence of putative orthologs of klhl in human, mouse, rat, and pufferfish. klhl was determined to map to zebrafish linkage group (LG) 13 and was found to be syntenic with the proposed orthologs of klhl in human, mouse, and rat. In an effort to elucidate the function of klhl, klhl expression was investigated by Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization. klhl is specifically expressed in the fast skeletal and cardiac muscle. Northern blot analyses show that the human ortholog, KLHL, is also specifically expressed in the skeletal muscles and heart. In silico analyses of rat expressed sequence tag (EST) clones corresponding to rat Klhl ortholog also indicate that its expression is also restricted to rat muscle tissues, suggesting a conserved role of klhl in vertebrates. The expression pattern of klhl, as well as the presence of the kelch repeats indicates a possible role for Klhl in the organization of striated muscle cytoarchitecture.