Tbx2 and Tbx3 regulate cell fate progression of the otic vesicle for inner ear development

Hansoo Song, Bernice E. Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The morphogenesis of the otic vesicle (OV) to form inner ear organs serves as an excellent model system to understand cell fate acquisition on a single cell level. Tbx2 and Tbx3 (Tbx2/3) encode closely related T-box transcription factors that are expressed widely in the mammalian OV. Inactivation of both genes in the OV (Tbx2/3cKO) results in failed morphogenesis into inner ear organs. To understand the basis of these defects, single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) was performed on the OV lineage, in controls versus Tbx2/3cKO embryos. We identified a multipotent population termed otic progenitors in controls that are marked by expression of the known otic placode markers Eya1, Sox2, and Sox3 as well as new markers Fgf18, Cxcl12, and Pou3f3. The otic progenitor population was increased three-fold in Tbx2/3cKO embryos, concomitant with dysregulation of genes in these cells as well as reduced progression to more differentiated states of prosensory and nonsensory cells. An ectopic neural population of cells was detected in the posterior OV of Tbx2/3cKO embryos but had reduced maturation to delaminated neural cells. As all three cell fates were affected in Tbx2/3cKO embryos, we suggest that Tbx2/3 promotes progression of multipotent otic progenitors to more differentiated cell types in the OV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-84
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Biology
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Cell fate
  • Conditional knockout
  • Inner ear
  • Otic vesicle
  • Single-cell RNA-Sequencing
  • Tbx2
  • Tbx3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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