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

Prenatal expression of a lethal genetic defect in carbohydrate metabolism in mice.

Mouse fetuses homozygous for the lethal cab (cardiac abnormal) mutation are characterized by pleiotropic effects that lead to immediate postnatal death. Mutant fetuses have only 4% of the normal amount of hepatic glycogen and 39% of the normal cardiac glycogen reserve, coupled with lower specific activities of glycogen synthase and phosphorylase. Analysis with the periodic acid-Schiff reagent histochemical stain demonstrated that cab homozygotes also have reduced amounts of structural polysaccharides. One of the most distinctive mutant phenotypic traits is severe prenatal hypoglycemia, with average (+/-SEM) plasma glucose concentrations of 0.35 +/- 0.14 mM in late fetuses compared to 3.47 +/- 0.69 mM in normal littermates. Compromise of glucose transport from dam to fetus or altered cellular glucose utilization was considered as a possible basis for the low extracellular and intracellular (hepatic) levels of glucose in mutants. Transport of the glucose analogue alpha-methyl[14C]glucoside by the placenta of cab homozygotes is normal. However, metabolism of [14C]glucose by mutant cells yields only 20% of the normal amount of 14CO2. This reduced efficiency of glucose metabolism is correlated with lower ATP concentrations in mutant organs. Aberrant glucose utilization may account for the pleiotropic features of the cab syndrome.[1]


  1. Prenatal expression of a lethal genetic defect in carbohydrate metabolism in mice. Tyson, F.L., Essien, F.B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1985) [Pubmed]
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