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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Altered retinoid distribution in the repeated epilation (Er) mutant mouse.

The repeated epilation (Er) mutation in mice causes successive loss and regrowth of hair in heterozygotes (Er/+), and blocks orofacial development and epidermal differentiation in lethal homozygotes (Er/Er). Because the mutation affects a systemic factor, because the Er phenotypes resemble exposure to excess retinoids and because retinoids are critical regulators of epithelial differentiation, we examined whether systemic retinoid levels are altered by the Er defect. Liver retinoic acid and retinol were elevated 1.5- and 3.5-fold, respectively, in adult heterozygotes (Er/+) compared to normal (+/+) animals. Retinyl palmitate was increased 2-fold in heterozygous skin and 3-fold in kidney, but the retinol level in plasma was only half that of normal animals. Newborn heterozygous liver also had nearly 2-fold increased retinoids compared to normal. In contrast, Er/Er newborns had reduced retinoid levels in liver, two-thirds the retinol and 15% the retinyl palmitate compared to normal, but greater than 4-fold elevated levels of retinyl palmitate in the extrahepatic body. Tissue contents of retinol binding protein (RBP), which transports vitamin A from the liver to the remainder of the body, were determined by immunoblotting with anti-mouse RBP. Newborn normal and mutant animals had similar liver microsomal RBP contents. RBP contents in plasma and in liver microsomes were also similar in normal and Er/+ adults despite different retinol contents in the Er/+ tissues. Hair follicles of the Er/+, but not the normal adult, were stained with this antiserum to RPB in the outer root sheath layer. These results strongly suggest that altered retinoid distribution is associated with, and may be responsible for, the altered epithelial differentiation in the Er mutant.[1]


  1. Altered retinoid distribution in the repeated epilation (Er) mutant mouse. Jones, A.H., Lehman, P., Dale, B.A. J. Craniofac. Genet. Dev. Biol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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