Contribution of sox9b to pigment cell formation in medaka fish

Yuri Tsunogai, Motohiro Miyadai, Yusuke Nagao, Keisuke Sugiwaka, Robert N Kelsh, Masahiko Hibi, Hisashi Hashimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)
21 Downloads (Pure)


SoxE-type transcription factors, Sox10 and Sox9, are key regulators of the development of neural crest cells. Sox10 specifies pigment cell, glial, and neuronal lineages, whereas Sox9 is reportedly closely associated with skeletogenic lineages in the head, but its involvement in pigment cell formation has not been investigated genetically. Thus, it is not fully understood whether or how distinctly these genes as well as their paralogs in teleosts are subfunctionalized. We have previously shown using the medaka fish Oryzias latipes that pigment cell formation is severely affected by the loss of sox10a, yet unaffected by the loss of sox10b. Here we aimed to determine whether Sox9 is involved in the specification of pigment cell lineage. The sox9b homozygous mutation did not affect pigment cell formation, despite lethality at the early larval stages. By using sox10a, sox10b, and sox9b mutations, compound mutants were established for the sox9b and sox10 genes and pigment cell phenotypes were analyzed. Simultaneous loss of sox9b and sox10a resulted in the complete absence of melanophores and xanthophores from hatchlings and severely defective iridophore formation, as has been previously shown for sox10a −/−; sox10b −/− double mutants, indicating that Sox9b as well as Sox10b functions redundantly with Sox10a in pigment cell development. Notably, leucophores were present in sox9b −/−; sox10a −/− and sox10a −/−; sox10b −/− double mutants, but their numbers were significantly reduced in the sox9b −/−; sox10a −/− mutants. These findings highlight that Sox9b is involved in pigment cell formation, and plays a more critical role in leucophore development than Sox10b.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopment Growth & Differentiation
Issue number9
Early online date22 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • cell fate
  • functional redundancy
  • iridophore
  • leucophores
  • medaka fish
  • melanocyte
  • melanophore
  • Oryzias latipes
  • SoxE transcription factor
  • xanthophore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Contribution of sox9b to pigment cell formation in medaka fish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this