Scientific article
Open access

On the role of TFEC in reptilian coloration

ContributorsTzika, Athanasia
Published inFrontiers in cell and developmental biology, vol. 12, 1358828
Publication date2024-02-07
First online date2024-02-07

Reptilian species, particularly snakes and lizards, are emerging models of animal coloration. Here, I focus on the role of the TFEC transcription factor in snake and lizard coloration based on a study on wild-type and piebald ball pythons. Genomic mapping previously identified a TFEC mutation linked to the piebald ball python phenotype. The association of TFEC with skin coloration was further supported by gene-editing experiments in the brown anole lizard. However, novel histological analyses presented here reveal discrepancies between the ball python and the anole TFEC mutants phenotype, cautioning against broad generalizations. Indeed, both wild-type and piebald ball pythons completely lack iridophores, whereas the TFEC anole lizard mutants lose their iridophores compared to the wild-type anole. Based on these findings, I discuss the potential role of the MiT/TFE family in skin pigmentation across vertebrate lineages and advocate the need for developmental analyses and additional gene-editing experiments to explore the reptilian coloration diversity.

  • TFEC
  • Anole lizard
  • Ball python
  • Chromatophores
  • Coloration
  • Reptiles
  • Skin
  • Snakes
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
TZIKA, Athanasia. On the role of TFEC in reptilian coloration. In: Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 2024, vol. 12, p. 1358828. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2024.1358828
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2296-634X

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