Nearly all genetic crosses generated from Apoe−/− or Lldlr−/− mice for genetic analysis of atherosclerosis have used C57BL/6 J (B6) mice as one parental strain, thus limiting their mapping power and coverage of allelic diversity. SM/J-Apoe −/− and BALB/cJ-Apoe −/− mice differ significantly in atherosclerosis susceptibility. 224 male F2 mice were generated from the two Apoe −/− strains to perform quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of atherosclerosis. F2 mice were fed 5 weeks of Western diet and analyzed for atherosclerotic lesions in the aortic root. Genome-wide scans with 144 informative SNP markers identified a significant locus near 20.2 Mb on chromosome 10 (LOD score: 6.03), named Ath48, and a suggestive locus near 49.5 Mb on chromosome 9 (LOD: 2.29; Ath29) affecting atherosclerotic lesion sizes. Using bioinformatics tools, we prioritized 12 candidate genes for Ath48. Of them, Tnfaip3, an anti-inflammatory gene, is located precisely underneath the linkage peak and contains two non-synonymous SNPs leading to conservative amino acid substitutions. Thus, this study demonstrates the power of forward genetics involving the use of a different susceptible strain and bioinformatics tools in finding atherosclerosis susceptibility genes.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 23, 2017
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