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

Lethality of Rw/Rw mouse embryos during early postimplantation development.

Three mutations in the mouse, white spotting (W), rump white (Rw), and patch (Ph), are described as a "gene triplet" on the basis of their close genetic linkage and similar mutant phenotypes. The finding that the W phenotype results from mutations altering the c-kit protooncogene, and that Ph is associated with the deletion of Pdgfra, suggested specific molecular reagents which could be used for the analysis of the chromosomal structure of the third mutation, rump white. Such studies indicated that Rw is associated with a large chromosomal inversion. In this study, we showed that it is possible to generate molecular markers specific for the Rw chromosome, as recombination is suppressed between the inverted portion of the Rw chromosome and the wild-type homologue. Using one such marker, we were able to genotype the offspring of Rw/+ intercrosses. This enabled us to show that Rw homozygote embryos die around 9.5 days of gestation. Histological analysis revealed that the embryos undergo gastrulation, forming three germ layers, and in some cases, exhibit a defined axial midline with an apparent notochordal plate. However, mutant embryos are significantly smaller than the wild-type, with the size difference evident from Day 7.5 and becoming more disparate as development progresses. These morphological data further support the genetic evidence indicating that the developmental lethality of the Rw mutation is not caused by the disruption of a gene within the cluster of RTKs in the central portion of mouse chromosome 5. Furthermore, we present evidence that both Kit and Pdgfra are expressed from the Rw chromosome in several adult tissues. The results of these studies suggest that the identification of the sequence(s) disrupted by the Rw mutation will provide further insight into the regulation of early postimplantation development.[1]


  1. Lethality of Rw/Rw mouse embryos during early postimplantation development. Bućan, M., Nagle, D.L., Hough, R.B., Chapman, V.M., Lo, C.W. Dev. Biol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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