Ethylnitrosourea-induced thymus-defective mutants identify roles of KIAA1440, TRRAP, and SKIV2L2 in teleost organ development

Eur J Immunol. 2009 Sep;39(9):2606-16. doi: 10.1002/eji.200939362.


The thymus is an organ where T lymphocytes develop. Thymus development requires interactions of cells derived from three germ layers. However, the molecular mechanisms that control thymus development are not fully understood. To identify the genes that regulate thymus development, we previously carried out a large-scale screening for ethylnitrosourea-induced mutagenesis using medaka, Oryzias latipes, and established a panel of recessive thymus-lacking mutants. Here we report the identification of three genes responsible for these mutations. We found that the mutations in KIAA1440, TRRAP, and SKIV2L2 caused the defects in distinct steps of thymus development. We also found that these genes were widely expressed in many organs and that the mutations in these genes caused defects in the development of various other organs. These results enabled us to identify previously unknown roles of widely expressed genes in medaka organ development. The possible reasons why thymus-defective teleost mutants could be used to identify widely expressed genes and future strategies to increase the likelihood of identifying genes that specifically regulate thymus development are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology*
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Ethylnitrosourea / pharmacology
  • Exons / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Organogenesis / genetics*
  • Oryzias / embryology
  • Oryzias / genetics
  • Oryzias / immunology*
  • RNA Helicases / genetics
  • RNA Helicases / physiology*
  • Thymus Gland / embryology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • transformation-transcription domain-associated protein
  • RNA Helicases
  • Ethylnitrosourea