Previously, the abermectin-induced neurotoxicity of subpopulation of CF-1 mice was shown to be caused by the deficiency of mdr-3 P-glycoprotein. Here, we have characterized the molecular nature of the mdr-3 gene mutation in this subpopulation of CF-1 mice. The size of mdr-3 mRNA transcript from ivermectin-sensitive mutant mice was different from that of wild-type mice. Sequence analysis of RT-PCR products isolated from the mutant brain disclosed that the exon 23 of the mdr-3 gene is deleted or altered in the transcripts. The analysis of the genomic locus revealed an insertion of a solo long terminal repeat (LTR) of the ecotropic murine leukemia virus in the reverse orientation in the intron of the mdr-3 gene, causing abnormal splicing and thereby disrupting the mdr-3 gene function. In addition, histopathological analysis of the brains of the ivermectin-treated mutants revealed selective neuronal degeneration in the hippocampal CA3 region. This is the first reported case of a gene mutation induced by a solo retroviral LTR with a phenotypic consequence in the mouse, and may provide new insights into the understanding of the effects of viral solo LTR sequences on mammalian gene expression.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2014
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