Mouse t haplotypes exhibit transmission ratio distortion (TRD), whereby heterozygous males (+/t) transmit the t chromosome to nearly all offspring. TRD is mediated by the t complex responder locus (Tcr), whose transmission is elevated above Mendelian levels by additive contribution of several t haplotype-encoded quantitative trait loci (QTLs) called t complex distorters (Tcd1–Tcd5). The entire genetically defined Tcr interval has been cloned and consists of under 200 kb. This interval is one of three large duplication units in t haplotypes that retain high levels of similarity. The cis-active nature of Tcr raises the possibility that it is not a protein-encoding gene, but another anomaly such as a structural anomaly of chromatin. To further investigate the Tcr-critical interval, a 30-kb region upstream of the Tcp10b t gene (a testis-expressed former candidate for Tcr) was sequenced, along with the duplicated paralogous region associated with Tcp10c t , which lies immediately adjacent but outside the Tcr interval. Several genes or transcriptional units were identified, including the 3′ end of ribosomal s6 kinase (Rsk3); two apparently intronless and ORF-less genes; and Gpr31, an intronless, putative G-protein coupled receptor. While the 30-kb regions were 98% identical, the Gpr31 paralog from the Tcr-critical region (Gpr31b t ) contained an in-frame 210-bp deletion that disrupted two of the seven predicted transmembrane domains. Furthermore, an intronless and ORFless gene from this interval, Trex1b t , contained a 4-bp deletion that distinguished it from all other homologs in t haplotypes and wild-type chromosomes. Although it is unknown whether any of these genes are involved in TRD, their discovery raises new possibilities regarding the nature of Tcr, including a model whereby it might function as an RNA rather than a protein or chromatin anomaly.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 1999
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