Sorting nexins are a large family of evolutionarily conserved proteins that play fundamental roles in endocytosis, endosomal sorting and signaling. As an important member of sorting nexin family, sorting nexin 9 (SNX9) has been shown to participate in coordinating actin polymerization with membrane tubulation and vesicle formation. We previously showed that SNX9 is expressed in mouse auditory hair cells and might regulate actin polymerization in those cells. To further examine the physiological role of SNX9, we generated Snx9 knockout mice using homologous recombination method. Unexpectedly, Snx9 knockout mice have normal viability and fertility, and are morphologically and behaviorally indistinguishable from control mice. Further investigation revealed that the morphology and function of auditory hair cells are not affected by Snx9 inactivation, and Snx9 knockout mice have normal hearing threshold. In conclusion, our data revealed that Snx9-deficient mice do not show defects in development as well as auditory function, suggesting that SNX9 is not essential for mice development and hearing.
Keywords: SNX9; hair cells; hearing; inner ear; knockout mice.