The zinc transporter ZIP9 (Slc39a9) regulates zinc dynamics essential to egg activation in zebrafish

Aubrey Converse*, Peter Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The zinc transporter ZIP9 (SLC39A9) was recently characterized as a membrane androgen receptor in various teleost and mammalian cell models. ZIP9 shows the highest expression in ovaries of teleosts, a tissue in which both androgen signaling and zinc dynamics have significant roles. To examine the role of ZIP9 in ovarian physiology, we generated a ZIP9-mutant zebrafish strain using a CRISPR/Cas9 system. zip9-/- females showed significant reductions in fecundity, embryo viability, and growth of their offspring compared to wildtype (WT) fish. Furthermore, a high proportion of zip9-/- eggs failed to undergo normal chorion elevation during activation. In WT eggs, zinc was detected in cortically-localized vesicles which underwent exocytosis upon activation. zip9-/- eggs showed abnormal cortical vesicle development and had a significantly depressed activation-induced zinc release compared to WT eggs. Moreover, pharmacologically sustained elevation of zinc in WT eggs prior to activation resulted in abnormal chorion elevation similar to that observed in zip9-/- eggs. These results indicate that ZIP9 is essential for proper zinc modulation during zebrafish egg activation and presents the first evidence of zinc modulation during egg activation in a non-mammalian species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15673
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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