Faculty Research 1970 - 1979


Genetic determination of the developmental program for mouse liver beta-galactosidase: involvement of sites proximate to and distant from the structural gene.

Document Type


Publication Date



Beta-Galactosidases: ge, Chromosome-Mapping, Female, Galactosidases: ge, Genes, Genes-Structural, Linkage-(Genetics), Liver: en, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-Strains: ge, Phenotype, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Variation-(Genetics)

First Page


Last Page


JAX Source

Genetics 1979 Aug; 92(4):1187-203.


The identification and mode of action of genetic loci that program gene expression during development are important for understanding differentiation in higher organisms. Previous work from this laboratory has identified two patterns for the postnatal development of liver beta-galactosidase among inbred mouse strains: type I, where activity levels remain constant after about 30 days of age, is found in strains DBA/2J, CBA/J, and BALB/cJ, among others; type II, where activity levels increase between 25 and 50 days of age to reach a new adult level, is found in strain C57BL/6J and related strains. It has been shown that the type I vs. type II developmental difference between strains C57BL/6J and DBA/2J is due to variation at a locus, Bgl-t, that maps with the beta-galactosidase complex, [Bgl], on chromosome 9. In the present study, we have confirmed the existence of Bgl-t as a temporal locus within [Bgl] by analysis of both a congenic strain carrying the beta-galactosidase complex of strain CBA/J in the C57BL/6J genetic background and a cross of strains CBA/J and C57BL/6J. The existence of additional temporal loci for beta-galactosidase that segregate independently of the structural gene and participate in determination of the type I vs. type II difference was revealed by analysis of: (1) a congenic strain containing the beta-galactosidase complex of strain BALB/cJ in the C57BL/10Sn background; (2) recombinant inbred lines derived from progenitor strains C57BL/6ByJ and BALB/cByJ; and (3) a genetic cross between strains C57BL/6ByJ and BALB/cByJ. Thus, for these pairs of strains, the type I vs. type II developmental difference is due to variation at a temporal locus (or loci) unlinked to the enzyme structural gene, and not at Bgl-t. These facts, together with information gathered from an examination of the distribution of beta-galactosidase phenotypes among over 100 inbred strains (Breen, Lusis and Paigen 1977), have led us to conclude that the postnatal developmental pattern for liver beta-galactosidase is determined by a set of interacting temporal genes. One of these, Bgl-t, is located within [Bgl], and one or more are separable from [Bgl] by recombination. A possible mode of interaction among the temporal and instructural loci is suggested.

Please contact the Joan Staats Library for information regarding this document.