Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author’s final published version in Journal of Developmental Biology, Volume 9, Issue 4, October 2021, Article number 46.

The published version is available at Copyright © Branigan et al.


Brd2 belongs to the BET family of epigenetic transcriptional co-regulators that act as adaptor-scaffolds for the assembly of chromatin-modifying complexes and other factors at target gene promoters. Brd2 is a protooncogene and candidate gene for juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in humans, a homeobox gene regulator in Drosophila, and a maternal-zygotic factor and cell death modulator that is necessary for normal development of the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). As two copies of Brd2 exist in zebrafish, we use antisense morpholino knockdown to probe the role of paralog Brd2b, as a comparative study to Brd2a, the ortholog of human Brd2. A deficiency in either paralog results in excess cell death and dysmorphology of the CNS, whereas only Brd2b deficiency leads to loss of circulation and occlusion of the pronephric duct. Co-knockdown of both paralogs suppresses single morphant defects, while co-injection of morpholinos with paralogous RNA enhances them, suggesting novel genetic interaction with functional antagonism. Brd2 diversification includes paralog-specific RNA variants, a distinct localization of maternal factors, and shared and unique spatiotemporal expression, providing unique insight into the evolution and potential functions of this gene.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

PubMed ID






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.