Faculty Research 1990 - 1999

Disorganization is a completely dominant gain-of-function mouse mutation causing sporadic developmental defects.

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Abnormalities-Multiple: em, ge, Animal, Crosses-Genetic, Fetal-Development: ge, Genes-Dominant, Genetic-Markers, Genotype, Human, Incidence, Mice: em, ge, Mice-Inbred-C3H: em, ge, Phenotype, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Translocation-(Genetics), Trisomy

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Mech Dev 1992 May;37(3):121-6




Disorganization (Ds) is an exceptional mutation because of its diverse and profound developmental effects. Although other mouse mutations produce similar congenital defects, extreme pleiotropism, random occurrence, developmental independence of multiple defects, and type of anomaly make Ds unique. Examples of developmental defects include cranioschisis, rachischisis, thoracoschisis, exencephaly, hamartomas, and anomalies of appendages, digestive, genital and urinary tracts, sense organs, limbs and girdles, tail and pharynx. No other mutation in the mouse has such broad effects. Ds is therefore an important model for studying not only the genetic control of lineage determination and pattern formation, but also the occurrence of sporadic congenital defects. To characterize the effects of gene dosage, we examined the viability and phenotype of Ds homozygotes and the phenotype of +/+/Ds trisomic fetuses. Occurrence of homozygotes was tested by intercrossing Ds/+ heterozygotes, typing genetic markers that flank Ds, and examining homozygotes for morphological abnormalities. Not only were Ds homozygotes found in their expected frequency, homozygotes were not more severely affected than heterozygotes. Trisomies provide a direct test for determining whether Ds is a gain-of-function mutation. Trisomic fetuses were derived by crossing Ds/Ds homozygous mice to hybrid mice that were heterozygous for two related Robertsonian translocations. Two trisomic fetuses had developmental defects characteristic of Ds mice. Together these results demonstrate that Ds is a completely dominant, gain-of-function mutation.

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