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

Reduced levels of gamma-crystallin transcripts during embryonic development of murine Cat2nop mutant lenses.

BACKGROUND: From previous experiments it is known that the murine dominant cataract mutants carrying the gene Cat2 have a decreased content of gamma-crystallin-specific transcripts in the juvenile lens, when the cataract is completely expressed. Moreover, the mutant locus has been mapped recently to chromosome 1, closely linked to the gamma E-crystallin gene (map distance 0.3 +/- 0.3 cM). In the present paper we describe the phenotypic changes and the gamma-crystallin expression in embryonic lenses of the Cat2nop mutants as an example for the Cat2 allelic series. METHODS: The technique of in situ hybridization was applied using a probe from the murine gamma D-crystallin gene, and, for control, from the murine alpha A-crystallin gene. Simultaneously, a series of lens sections was examined histologically. RESULTS: The presence of gamma-crystallin mRNA was demonstrated from embryonic day 13.5 (E13.5) onward, but in the mutants to a lower extent than in the wild-type lenses. However, the first morphological abnormality in the mutant lenses was observed as swelling of lens fibers at day E15. 5. Progressive degeneration of the lens core followed, leading to a cataracta immatura. CONCLUSION: The reduced level of gamma-crystallin transcripts is the first alteration observable during the embryonic development of the Cat2 mutant lenses: it precedes the morphological changes. This result represents an additional line of argument that the gamma-crystallin genes may be the target of the mutation in the Cat2 mice.[1]


  1. Reduced levels of gamma-crystallin transcripts during embryonic development of murine Cat2nop mutant lenses. Santhiya, S.T., Abd-alla, S.M., Löster, J., Graw, J. Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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