Rau, M.J., Fischer, S., and Neumann, C.J. (2006) Zebrafish Trap230/Med12 is required as a coactivator for Sox9-dependent neural crest, cartilage and ear development. Developmental Biology. 296(1):83-93.
The vertebrate Sox9 transcription factor directs the development of neural crest, otic placodes, cartilage and bone. In zebrafish, there are two Sox9 orthologs, Sox9a and Sox9b, which together perform the functions of the single-copy tetrapod Sox9. In a large-scale genetic screen, we have identified a novel zebrafish mutant that strongly resembles the Sox9a/Sox9b double mutant phenotype. We show that this mutation disrupts the zebrafish Trap230/Med12 ortholog, a member of the Mediator complex. Mediator is a coactivator complex transducing the interaction of DNA-binding transcription factors with RNA polymerase II, and our results reveal a critical function of the Trap230 subunit as a coactivator for Sox9.