Tropomyosin (TM) plays a critical role in skeletal and cardiac muscle development and function. To assess the functional significance of α-TM in Japanese flounder ( Paralichthys olivaceus
) development and metamorphosis, cDNA from Japanese flounder was cloned and α-TM mRNA measured during development and metamorphosis. The full-length cDNA is 1 191 bp, including a 5'-untranslated region of 114 bp, a 3'-UTR of 222 bp, and an open reading frame of 855 bp encoding a polypeptide of 284 amino acids. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that α-TM mRNA is initially expressed in unfertilized ovum, indicating the α-TM gene is maternal. Relatively low mRNA levels were observed in different embryonic stages. A higher level of α-TM mRNA was detected 3 days post hatching (dph), while the highest level was measured at 29 dph (metamorphic climax) after which it declined towards the end of metamorphosis. The expression of α-TM mRNA was up-regulated in thyroid hormone-treated larvae at 36 dph, but there was no marked difference at other stages when compared to control animals. After thiourea treatment, the expression of α-TM mRNA declined slightly. These data provide basic information that can be utilized in further studies into the role of α-TM in P. olivaceus
development and metamorphosis.