Gene Symbol: valopa
Description: vertebrate ancient long opsin a
Alias: (VA)-opsin, VA-opsin, VAL-opsin, va1, valop, vertebrate ancient long opsin a, (VAL)-opsin, vertebrate ancient opsin-1
Species: zebrafish

Top Publications

  1. Davies W, Zheng L, Hughes S, Tamai T, Turton M, Halford S, et al. Functional diversity of melanopsins and their global expression in the teleost retina. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011;68:4115-32 pubmed publisher
  2. Fernandes A, Fero K, Arrenberg A, Bergeron S, Driever W, Burgess H. Deep brain photoreceptors control light-seeking behavior in zebrafish larvae. Curr Biol. 2012;22:2042-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings shed light on the identity and function of deep brain photoreceptors and suggest that otpa specifies an ancient population of sensory neurons that mediate behavioral responses to light. ..
  3. Kojima D, Torii M, Fukada Y, Dowling J. Differential expression of duplicated VAL-opsin genes in the developing zebrafish. J Neurochem. 2008;104:1364-71 pubmed
    ..Such a differential expression pattern suggests that VAL-opsinA and VAL-opsinB are involved in different physiological events in zebrafish. ..
  4. Hang C, Kitahashi T, Parhar I. Localization and characterization of val-opsin isoform-expressing cells in the brain of adult zebrafish. J Comp Neurol. 2014;522:3847-60 pubmed publisher
    ..vertebrate ancient long opsin (VAL-opsin) possesses two functional isoforms in the zebrafish, encoded by valopa and valopb, which has received little attention...
  5. Friedmann D, Hoagland A, Berlin S, Isacoff E. A spinal opsin controls early neural activity and drives a behavioral light response. Curr Biol. 2015;25:69-74 pubmed publisher
    ..We find that the photosensitivity of this circuit is conferred by vertebrate ancient long opsin A (VALopA), which we show to be a Gα(i)-coupled receptor that is expressed in the neurons of the ..
  6. Hang C, Moriya S, Ogawa S, Parhar I. Deep Brain Photoreceptor (val-opsin) Gene Knockout Using CRISPR/Cas Affects Chorion Formation and Embryonic Hatching in the Zebrafish. PLoS ONE. 2016;11:e0165535 pubmed publisher
    ..supported by our recent findings on vertebrate ancient long (VAL)-opsin photopigments encoded by the val-opsinA (valopa) and val-opsinB (valopb) genes in zebrafish. However, the physiological functions of valop isoforms remain unknown...
  7. Bellingham J, Whitmore D, Philp A, Wells D, Foster R. Zebrafish melanopsin: isolation, tissue localisation and phylogenetic position. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2002;107:128-36 pubmed
    ..They might represent a separate branch of photopigment evolution in the vertebrates or they may have a non-direct photosensory function, perhaps as a photoisomerase, in non-rod, non-cone light detection. ..
  8. Morrow J, Lazic S, Chang B. A novel rhodopsin-like gene expressed in zebrafish retina. Vis Neurosci. 2011;28:325-35 pubmed publisher
    ..The discovery of a new previously uncharacterized opsin gene in zebrafish retina is surprising given its status as a model system for studies of vertebrate vision and visual development. ..
  9. Kokel D, Dunn T, Ahrens M, Alshut R, Cheung C, Saint Amant L, et al. Identification of nonvisual photomotor response cells in the vertebrate hindbrain. J Neurosci. 2013;33:3834-43 pubmed publisher
    ..Pharmacological inhibition of the visual cycle blocks PMR behaviors, suggesting that opsin-based photoreceptors control this behavior. These data represent the first known light-sensing circuit in the vertebrate hindbrain. ..

More Information


  1. Koyanagi M, Wada S, Kawano Yamashita E, Hara Y, Kuraku S, Kosaka S, et al. Diversification of non-visual photopigment parapinopsin in spectral sensitivity for diverse pineal functions. BMC Biol. 2015;13:73 pubmed publisher
    ..Current findings could also provide an opportunity to understand the "color" preference of non-visual photoreception. ..
  2. Horstick E, Bayleyen Y, Sinclair J, Burgess H. Search strategy is regulated by somatostatin signaling and deep brain photoreceptors in zebrafish. BMC Biol. 2017;15:4 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings define distinct neuronal pathways for area-restricted and roaming search behaviors and clarify how internal drives promote goal-directed activity. ..
  3. Ziv L, Tovin A, Strasser D, Gothilf Y. Spectral sensitivity of melatonin suppression in the zebrafish pineal gland. Exp Eye Res. 2007;84:92-9 pubmed
    ..Therefore, additional pineal photopigments may contribute to the melatonin-suppression response in the pineal gland. ..
  4. Hang C, Kitahashi T, Parhar I. Brain area-specific diurnal and photic regulation of val-opsinA and val-opsinB genes in the zebrafish. J Neurochem. 2015;133:501-10 pubmed publisher
    Zebrafish possess two isoforms of vertebrate ancient long (VAL)-opsin, val-opsinA (valopa) and val-opsinB (valopb), which probably mediate non-visual responses to light...