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Dev Growth Differ 2023 Dec 01;659:591-598. doi: 10.1111/dgd.12891.
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Generation of translucent Xenopus tropicalis through triple knockout of pigmentation genes.

Amphibians generally have three types of pigment cells, namely, melanophores (black and brown), xanthophores (yellow and red), and iridophores (iridescent). Single knockout of the tyr, slc2a7, and hps6 genes in Xenopus tropicalis results in the absence of melanophores, xanthophores, and iridophores, respectively. The generation of triple- knockout (3KO) X. tropicalis for these three genes could allow for observation of internal organs without sacrificing the animals, which would be transparent due to the absence of pigments. In this study, we generated 3KO X. tropicalis, which is one of the most widely used model amphibians, through crossing of a slc2a7 single-knockout frog with a tyr and hps6 double-knockout frog, followed by intercrossing of their offspring. The 3KO tadpoles had transparent bodies like the nop mutant and the frogs had translucent bodies. This translucency allowed us to observe the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, and digestive tract through the ventral body skin without surgery. After intravital staining, 3KO X. tropicalis showed much clearer fluorescent signals of mineralized tissues compared with the wild type. These 3KO X. tropicalis provide a useful mutant line for continuous observation of internal organs and fluorescent signals in the body. In particular, such 3KO frogs would revolutionize fluorescence monitoring in transgenic tadpoles and frogs expressing fluorescent proteins.

PubMed ID: 37750430
Article link: Dev Growth Differ
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis
Genes referenced: hps6 slc2a7 tyr
GO keywords: melanin biosynthetic process [+]
Disease Ontology terms: Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 6
Phenotypes: Xtr.slc2a7{em} x Xtr.hps6.tyr{em} (Fig. 2 c,d) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions