[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Kit gene encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase involved in various biological processes including melanogenesis, hematopoiesis and gametogenesis in mice and human. A large number of Kit mutants has been described so far showing the pleiotropic phenotypes associated with partial loss-of-function of the gene. Hypomorphic mutations can induce a light coat color phenotype while complete lack of KIT function interferes with embryogenesis. Interestingly several intermediate hypomorphic mutations induced in addition growth retardation and post-natal mortality.
In this report we investigated the post-natal role of Kit by using a panel of chemically-induced hypomorphic mutations recently isolated in the mouse. We found that, in addition to the classical phenotypes, mutations of Kit induced juvenile steatosis, associated with the downregulation of the three genes, VldlR, Lpin1 and Lpl, controlling lipid metabolism in the post-natal liver. Hence, Kit loss-of-functions mimicked the inactivation of genes controlling the hepatic metabolism of triglycerides, the major source of energy from maternal milk, leading to growth and viability defects during neonatal development.
This is a first report involving KIT in the control of lipid metabolism in neonates and opening new perspectives for understanding juvenile steatosis. Moreover, it reinforces the role of Kit during development of the liver and underscores the caution that should be exerted in using KIT inhibitors during anti-cancer treatment.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · BMC Developmental Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Velocardiofacial/DiGeorge syndrome (VCFS/DGS) is a developmental disorder caused by a 1.5 to 3-Mb hemizygous 22q11.2 deletion. VCFS/DGS patients display malformations in multiple systems, as well as an increased frequency of neuropsychiatric defects including schizophrenia. Haploinsufficiency of TBX1 appears to be responsible for these physical malformations in humans and mice, but the genes responsible for the neuropsychiatric defects are unknown. In this study, two mouse models of VCFS/DGS, a deletion mouse model (Lgdel/+) and a single gene model (Tbx1 +/−), as well as a third mouse mutant (Gscl −/−) for a gene within the Lgdel deletion, were tested in a large behavioral battery designed to assess gross physical features, sensorimotor reflexes, motor activity nociception, acoustic startle, sensorimotor gating, and learning and memory. Lgdel/+ mice contain a 1.5-Mb hemizygous deletion of 27 genes in the orthologous region on MMU 16 and present with impairment in sensorimotor gating, grip strength, and nociception. Tbx1
+/− mice were impaired in grip strength similar to Lgdel/+ mice and movement initiation. Gscl
−/− mice were not impaired in any of the administered tests, suggesting that redundant function of other Gsc family members may compensate for the loss of Gscl. Thus, although deletion of the genes in the Lgdel region in mice may recapitulate some of the behavioral phenotypes seen in humans with VCFS/DGS, these phenotypes are not found in mice with complete loss of Gscl or in mice with heterozygous loss of Tbx1, suggesting that the neuropsychiatric and physical malformations of VCFS/DGS may act by different genetic mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sensing of head movement in mammals depends upon the vestibular endorgan of the inner ear, a complex structure made up of the semicircular canals and otoliths. Due to the similarity between the human and mouse vestibular apparatus, the analysis of mutant mouse is a valuable strategy aiming to identify genes involved in the control of balance and movement.
In the course of a genome-wide chemical-mutagenesis programme, we isolated a recessive mutation, named ied (inner ear defect), which induced a severe loss-of-balance. A detailed phenotypic analysis of the mutant mice demonstrates that the balance impairment does not affect the motor activity and can be rescued, in part, by training, despite a complete agenesis of otoconia in the utricule and the saccule of the inner ear. Molecular characterization of the ied mutation revealed a transversion that affects the splicing of the second exon of the Otopetrin1 gene located on mouse chromosome 5. The consequence of such a mutation leads to a disruption of the transcription of the gene.
The identification of the ied knock-down allele strengthens the role of the Otopetrin1 in the sensing of balance. Moreover, the rescue of the ied mutant phenotype in specific behavioural tasks confirmed that other sensory inputs or neural plasticity can compensate, to some extent, for the loss-of-balance. In the future, the ied mutant mice might be helpful to study the genetic control of the compensation strategies developed by organisms to counteract balance defects.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2005 · Biology of the Cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In humans and in animal models, susceptibility to arthritis is under complex genetic control, reflecting influences on the immunological processes that initiate autoimmunity and on subsequent inflammatory mechanisms in the joints. The effector phases are conveniently modeled by the K/BxN serum transfer system, a robust model well suited for genetic analysis where arthritis is initiated by pathogenic Ig. Here, we mapped the genetic loci distinguishing the high-responder BALB/c vs. low-responder SJL strains. After computational modeling of potential breeding schemes, we adapted a stepwise selective breeding strategy, with a whole-genome scan performed on a limited number of animals. Several genomic regions proved significantly associated with high sensitivity to arthritis. One of these regions, on distal chr2, was centered on the interleukin 1 gene family. Quantitation of transcripts of the Il1a and Il1b candidate genes revealed a 10-fold greater induction of Il1b mRNA in BALB/c than in SJL splenocytes after injection of LPS, whereas Il1a showed much less difference. The differential activity of the Il1b gene was associated with a particular sequence haplotype of noncoding polymorphisms. The BALB/c haplotype was found in 75% of wild-derived strains but was rare among conventional inbred strains (4/33 tested, one of which is DBA/1, the prototype arthritis-susceptible strain) and was associated with vigorous Il1b responses in a panel of inbred strains. Inbred strains carrying this allele were far more responsive to serum-transferred arthritis, confirming its broad importance in controlling arthritis severity.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2005 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Commonly available inbred mouse strains can be used to genetically model traits that vary in the human population, including
those associated with disease susceptibility. In order to understand how genetic differences regulate trait variation in humans,
we must first develop a detailed understanding of how genetic variation in the mouse produces the phenotypic differences among
inbred mouse strains. The information obtained from analysis of experimental murine genetic models can direct biological experimentation,
clinical research, and human genetic analysis. This “mouse to man” approach will increase our knowledge of the genes and pathways
regulating important biological processes and disease susceptibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Computational tools can markedly accelerate the rate at which murine genetic models can be analyzed. We developed a computational
method for mapping phenotypic traits that vary among inbred strains onto haplotypic blocks. This method correctly predicted
the genetic basis for strain-specific differences in several biologically important traits. It was also used to identify an
allele-specific functional genomic element regulating H2-Eα gene expression. This functional element, which contained the binding sites for YY1 and a second transcription factor that
is probably serum response factor, is located within the first intron of the H2-Eα gene. This computational method will greatly improve our ability to identify the genetic basis for a variety of phenotypic
traits, ranging from qualitative trait information to quantitative gene expression data, which vary among inbred mouse strains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemical mutagenesis in the mouse is a powerful approach for phenotype-driven genetics, but questions remain about the efficiency with which new mutations ascertained by their phenotype can be localized and identified, and that knowledge applied to a specific biological problem. During a global screen for dominant phenotypes in about 30,000 animals, a novel class of pigmentation mutants were identified by dark skin (Dsk). We determined the genetic map location, homozygous phenotype, and histology of 10 new Dsk and 2 new dark coat (Dcc) mutations, and identified mutations in Agouti (Met1Leu, Dcc4), Sox18 (Leu220ter, Dcc1), Keratin 2e (Thr500Pro, Dsk2), and Egfr (Leu863Gln, Dsk5). Cutaneous effects of most Dsk mutations are limited to melanocytes, except for the Keratin 2e and Egfr mutations, in which hyperkeratosis and epidermal thickening precede epidermal melanocytosis by 3-6 wk. The Dsk2 mutation is likely to impair intermediate filament assembly, leading to cytolysis of suprabasal keratinocytes and secondary hyperkeratosis and melanocytosis. The Dsk5 mutation causes increased tyrosine kinase activity and a decrease in steady-state receptor levels in vivo. The Dsk mutations represent genes or map locations not implicated previously in pigmentation, and delineate a developmental pathway in which mutations can be classified on the basis of body region, microscopic site, and timing of pigment accumulation.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2003 · Genes & Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS)/DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) is a human disorder characterized by a number of phenotypic features including cardiovascular defects. Most VCFS/DGS patients are hemizygous for a 1.5-3.0 Mb region of 22q11. To investigate the etiology of this disorder, we used a cre-loxP strategy to generate mice that are hemizygous for a 1.5 Mb deletion corresponding to that on 22q11. These mice exhibit significant perinatal lethality and have conotruncal and parathyroid defects. The conotruncal defects can be partially rescued by a human BAC containing the TBX1 gene. Mice heterozygous for a null mutation in Tbx1 develop conotruncal defects. These results together with the expression patterns of Tbx1 suggest a major role for this gene in the molecular etiology of VCFS/DGS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemizygous interstitial deletions in human chromosome 22q11 are associated with velocardiofacial syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome and lead to multiple congenital abnormalities, including cardiovascular defects. The gene(s) responsible for these disorders is thought to reside in a 1.5-Mb region of 22q11 in which 27 genes have been identified. We have used Cre-mediated recombination of LoxP sites in embryonic stem cells and mice to generate a 550-kb deletion encompassing 16 of these genes in the corresponding region on mouse chromosome 16. Mice heterozygous for this deletion are normal and do not exhibit cardiovascular abnormalities. Because mice with a larger deletion on mouse chromosome 16 do have heart defects, the results allow us to exclude these 16 genes as being solely, or in combination among themselves, responsible for the cardiovascular abnormalities in velocardiofacial/DiGeorge syndrome. We also generated mice with a duplication of the 16 genes that may help dissect the genetic basis of "cat eye" and derivative 22 syndromes that are characterized by extra copies of portions of 22q11, including these 16 genes. We also describe a strategy for selecting cell lines with defined chromosomal rearrangements. The method is based on reconstitution of a dominant selection marker after Cre-mediated recombination of LoxP sites. Therefore it should be widely applicable to many cell lines.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2000 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS) and DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) are characterized by a wide spectrum of abnormalities, including conotruncal heart defects, velopharyngeal insufficiency, craniofacial anomalies and learning disabilities. In addition, numerous other clinical features have been described, including frequent psychiatric illness. Hemizygosity for a 1.5-3 Mb region of chromosome 22q11 has been detected in >80% of VCFS/DGS patients. It is thought that a developmental field defect is responsible for many of the abnormalities seen in these patients and that the defect occurs due to reduced levels of a gene product active in early embryonic development. Goosecoid-like ( GSCL ) is a homeobox gene which is present in the VCFS/DGS commonly deleted region. The mouse homolog, Gscl, is expressed in mouse embryos as early as E8.5. Gscl is related to Goosecoid ( Gsc ), a gene required for proper craniofacial development in mice. GSCL has been considered an excellent candidate for contributing to the developmental defects in VCFS/DGS patients. To investigate the role of Goosecoid-like in VCFS/DGS etiology, we disrupted the Gscl gene in mouse embryonic stem cells and produced mice that transmit the disrupted allele. Mice that are homozygous for the disrupted allele appear to be normal and they do not exhibit any of the anatomical abnormalities seen in VCFS/DGS patients. RNA in situ hybridization to mouse embryo sections revealed that Gscl is expressed at E8.5 in the rostral region of the foregut and at E11.5 and E12.5 in the developing brain, in the pons region and in the choroid plexus of the fourth ventricle. Although the gene inactivation experiments indicate that haploinsufficiency for GSCL is unlikely to be the sole cause of the developmental field defect thought to be responsible for many of the abnormalities in VCFS/DGS patients, its localized expression during development could suggest that hemizygosity for GSCL, in combination with hemizygosity for other genes in 22q11, contributes to some of the developmental defects as well as the behavioral anomalies seen in these patients. The mice generated in this study should help in evaluating these possibilities.
Full-text · Article · Dec 1998 · Human Molecular Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) and DiGeorge syndrome are congenital disorders characterized by craniofacial anomalies, conotruncal heart defects, immune deficiencies, and learning disabilities. Both diseases are associated with similar hemizygous 22q11 deletions, indicating that haploinsufficiency of a gene(s) in 22q11 is responsible for their etiology. We describe here a new gene called NLVCF, which maps to the critical region for VCFS on 22q11 between the genes HIRA and UFD1L. NLVCF encodes a putative protein of 206 amino acids. The coding region encompasses four exons that span a genomic interval of 3.4 kb. Coding sequence analysis revealed that NLVCF is a novel gene that contains two consensus sequences for nuclear localization signals. The Nlvcf mouse homolog is 75% identical in amino acid sequence and maps to the orthologous region on mouse chromosome 16. The human NLVCF transcript is 1.3 kb in size and is expressed at varying levels in many fetal and adult tissues. Whole-mount in situ hybridization showed that Nlvcf is expressed in most structures of 9.5-dpc mouse embryos, with especially high expression in the head as well as in the first and second pharyngeal arches. NLVCF and HIRA are divergently transcribed, and their start codons lie approximately 1 kb apart in both humans and mice. Interestingly, the two genes exhibit a similar expression pattern in mouse embryos, suggesting that they may share common regulatory elements. The pattern of expression of NLVCF and its localization in the critical region suggest that NLVCF may contribute to the etiology of VCFS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The region of human chromosome 22q11 is prone to rearrangements. The resulting chromosomal abnormalities are involved in Velo-cardio-facial and DiGeorge syndromes (VCFS and DGS) (deletions), "cat eye" syndrome (duplications), and certain types of tumors (translocations). As a prelude to the development of mouse models for VCFS/DGS by generating targeted deletions in the mouse genome, we examined the organization of genes from human chromosome 22q11 in the mouse. Using genetic linkage analysis and detailed physical mapping, we show that genes from a relatively small region of human 22q11 are distributed on three mouse chromosomes (MMU6, MMU10, and MMU16). Furthermore, although the region corresponding to about 2.5 megabases of the VCFS/DGS critical region is located on mouse chromosome 16, the relative organization of the region is quite different from that in humans. Our results show that the instability of the 22q11 region is not restricted to humans but may have been present throughout evolution. The results also underscore the importance of detailed comparative mapping of genes in mice and humans as a prerequisite for the development of mouse models of human diseases involving chromosomal rearrangements.
Full-text · Article · Jan 1998 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS) is a developmental disorder characterized by conotruncal heart defects, craniofacial anomalies, and learning disabilities. VCFS is phenotypically related to DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) and both syndromes are associated with hemizygous 22q11 deletions. Because many of the tissues and structures affected in VCFS/DGS derive from the pharyngeal arches of the developing embryo, it is believed that haploinsufficiency of a gene(s) involved in embryonic development may be responsible for its etiology. A homeodomain-containing gene, Goosecoidlike (GSCL), has been recently described, and it resides in the critical region for VCFS/DGS on 22q11. GSCL is related to the Goosecoid gene (GSC) in both sequence of the homeodomain and genomic organization. Gsc in the mouse is expressed during early and midembryogenesis and is required for craniofacial rib, and limb development. The chick homolog of GSCL, termed GSX, is expressed during early chick embryogenesis. We detected GSCL expression in human embryos and biphasic expression in mouse embryos. It is possible that the vertebrate GSCL gene is also required for embryonic development. Due to its location in the critical region on 22q11, GSCL is an excellent candidate gene for VCFS/DGS. The vertebrate GSC protein has the same DNA binding specificity as the Drosophila morphogen, bicoid. Upon examination of the putative GSCL promoter, we found three sequence elements with an exact match to the reverse complement of the bicoid DNA recognition motif, suggesting that GSC, or possibly GSCL itself, regulates the transcription of GSCL. Sequence analysis of the putative promoter and the coding region of GSCL was performed on the DNA template from 17 VCFS patients who did not have a detectable 22q11 deletion to identify mutations. We did not detect a mutation in this set of VCFS patients. A polymorphism was detected in codon 47 of exon 1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The region of human chromosome 22q11 is prone to rearrangements. The resulting chromosomal abnormalities are involved in Velo-cardio-facial
and DiGeorge syndromes (VCFS and DGS) (deletions), “cat eye” syndrome (duplications), and certain types of tumors (translocations).
As a prelude to the development of mouse models for VCFS/DGS by generating targeted deletions in the mouse genome, we examined
the organization of genes from human chromosome 22q11 in the mouse. Using genetic linkage analysis and detailed physical mapping,
we show that genes from a relatively small region of human 22q11 are distributed on three mouse chromosomes (MMU6, MMU10,
and MMU16). Furthermore, although the region corresponding to about 2.5 megabases of the VCFS/DGS critical region is located
on mouse chromosome 16, the relative organization of the region is quite different from that in humans. Our results show that
the instability of the 22q11 region is not restricted to humans but may have been present throughout evolution. The results
also underscore the importance of detailed comparative mapping of genes in mice and humans as a prerequisite for the development
of mouse models of human diseases involving chromosomal rearrangements.
Full-text · Article · Dec 1997 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Velo–cardio–facial syndrome (VCFS) and DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) are characterized by a wide spectrum of phenotypes including cleft palate, conotruncal heart defects, and facial dysmorphology. Hemizygosity for a portion of chromosome 22q11 has been detected in 80– 85% of VCFS/DGS patients. Using a cDNA selection protocol, we have identified a new gene, TMVCF (transmembrane protein deleted in VCFS), which maps to the deleted interval. The genomic locus is positioned between polymorphic markers D22S944 and D22S941. TMVCF encodes a small protein of 219 amino acids that is predicted to contain two membrane-spanning domains. TMVCF is expressed abundantly in human adult lung, heart, and skeletal muscle, and transcripts can be detected at least as early as Day 9 of mouse development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS) and DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) are characterized by a wide spectrum of phenotypes, including conotruncal heart defects, cleft palate, and facial dysmorphology. Hemizygosity for a portion of chromosome 22q11 has been detected in 80-85% of VCFS/DGS patients. Both syndromes are thought to be the result of a developmental field defect. Using two independent gene-isolation procedures, we isolated a new catenin family member termed ARVCF (armadillo repeat gene deleted in VCFS) from the interval deleted in VCFS. ARVCF encodes a protein of 962 amino acids that contains a coiled coil domain and 10 tandem armadillo repeats. The primary structure of the protein is most closely related to the murine catenin p120CAS, which suggests a role for ARVCF in protein-protein interactions at adherens junctions. ARVCF is expressed ubiquitously in all fetal and adult tissues examined. This gene is hemizygous in all VCFS patients with interstitial deletions. Based on the physical location and potential functions of ARVCF, we suggest that hemizygosity at this locus may play a role in the etiology of some of the phenotypes associated with VCFS.