The International journal of developmental biology

Construction and characterization of a sox9b transgenic reporter line.

PMID 25896205


The transcription factor SOX9 is a member of the SRY-related high-mobility-group box (SOX) superfamily of genes. In mammals, Sox9 plays important roles in many developmental processes including craniofacial, skeletal and heart morphogenesis, retinal and brain development, and gonad differentiation. Human mutations in SOX9 or the SOX9 promoter result in campomelic dysplasia, a severe genetic disorder, which disrupts skeletal, craniofacial, cardiac, neural and reproductive development. Due to the duplication of the teleost fish genome, zebrafish (Danio rerio) have two Sox9 genes: sox9a and sox9b. Loss of sox9b in zebrafish results in loss of function phenotypes that are similar to those observed in humans and mice. In order to generate a transgenic sox9b:EGFP reporter line, we cloned a 2450 bp fragment of the sox9b promoter and fused it to an EGFP reporter. Consistent with reported sox9b expression and function, we observed sox9b:EGFP in the developing heart, skeletal and craniofacial structures, brain, retina, and ovaries. Our resulting transgenic line is a useful tool for identifying and studying sox9b function in development and visualizing a number of zebrafish organs and tissues in which sox9b is normally expressed.