The cadherin superfamily members play an important role in mediating cell-cell contact and adhesion (Takeichi, M., 1991. Cadherin cell adhesion receptors as a morphogenetic regulator. Science 251, 1451-1455). A distinct subfamily, neither belonging to the classical or protocadherins includes Fat, the largest member of the cadherin super-family. Fat was originally identified in Drosophila. Subsequently, orthologues of Fat have been described in man (Dunne, J., Hanby, A. M., Poulsom, R., Jones, T. A., Sheer, D., Chin, W. G., Da, S. M., Zhao, Q., Beverley, P. C., Owen, M. J., 1995. Molecular cloning and tissue expression of FAT, the human homologue of the Drosophila fat gene that is located on chromosome 4q34-q35 and encodes a putative adhesion molecule. Genomics 30, 207-223), rat (Ponassi, M., Jacques, T. S., Ciani, L., ffrench, C. C., 1999. Expression of the rat homologue of the Drosophila fat tumour suppressor gene. Mech. Dev. 80, 207-212) and mouse (Cox, B., Hadjantonakis, A. K., Collins, J. E., Magee, A. I., 2000. Cloning and expression throughout mouse development of mfat 1, a homologue of the Drosophila tumour suppressor gene fat [In Process Citation]. Dev. Dyn. 217, 233-240). In Drosophila, Fat has been shown to play an important role in both planar cell polarity and cell boundary formation during development. In this study we describe the characterization of zebrafish Fat, the first non-mammalian, vertebrate Fat homologue to be identified. The Fat protein has 64% amino acid identity and 80% similarity to human FAT and an identical domain structure to other vertebrate Fat proteins. During embryogenesis fat mRNA is expressed in the developing brain, specialised epithelial surfaces the notochord, ears, eyes and digestive tract, a pattern similar but distinct to that found in mammals. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gene Expression Patterns Vol. 5, no. 4, p. 483-490