To date around 140 genetic alleles have been identified as being responsible for mouse cataract pathology, including Crya, Cryb, Cryg, Maf, Pax6, Pitx3, Sox, Connexins, MIP, and Lim-2. We obtained a dominant cataract mouse model from a spontaneous mutation in the F1 hybrids of outbred strain ICR mice crossed to the inbred strain BALB/cJ mice. Heterozygous and homozygous mutants expressed a nuclear cataract in both eyes. In 8-day-old mice, histological analysis showed that polygon epithelial cells were in the equatorial region and cortex underneath, and vacuole and sponge-like degeneration were in the cortical area underneath the posterior lens capsule. The nucleus of the lens was a deeply stained pink, with the shorter fibers losing their normal arrangement. For the entire eye, there was a blank zone in the equatorial region in 8-day-old mice; however, there was a certain degree of atrophy in cornea tension and retina in the lens in 3-month-old mice. The lens had been serious damaged in the homozygous mutants. For mutation mapping, heterozygous carriers were mated to wild-type C3H/HeJ mice, and offspring (F1 generation) with cataracts were backcrossed to the wild-type C3H/HeJ mice again. N2 mice with cataracts were used for genotyping. Using genome-wide linkage analysis, the mutation was mapped to chromosome 1 and the Cryg gene cluster between two markers was confirmed as the candidate gene. After direct sequencing the cDNA of the Cryg gene cluster, a 1-bp deletion was found in exon 3 of the Crygc gene, leading to a stop codon at the 76th amino acid of exon 3 which results in production of a truncated protein in mutant mice (Leu160Stop). Bioinformatic analysis of the mutant γC-crystallin reveals that the COOH-terminal of the mutant protein deletes a β-sheet, which affects the function of the lens proteins and leads to the development of cataracts.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 5, 2010
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