Systematic approaches to mouse mutagenesis will be vital for future studies of gene function. We have begun a major ENU mutagenesis program incorporating a large genome-wide screen for dominant mutations. Progeny of ENU-mutagenized mice are screened for visible defects at birth and weaning, and at 5 weeks of age by using a systematic and semi-quantitative screening protocol—SHIRPA. Following this, mice are screened for abnormal locomotor activity and for deficits in prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response. Moreover, in the primary screen, blood is collected from mice and subjected to a comprehensive clinical biochemical analysis. Subsequently, secondary and tertiary screens of increasing complexity can be used on animals demonstrating deficits in the primary screen. Frozen sperm is archived from all the male mice passing through the screen. In addition, tail tips are stored for DNA. Overall, the program will provide an extensive new resource of mutant and phenotype data to the mouse and human genetics communities at large. The challenge now is to employ the expanding mouse mutant resource to improve the mutant map of the mouse. An improved mutant map of the mouse will be an important asset in exploiting the growing gene map of the mouse and assisting with the identification of genes underlying novel mutations—with consequent benefits for the analysis of gene function and the identification of novel pathways.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 25, 2014
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