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Mamm Genome. 2004 Aug;15(8):585-91.

A gene-driven ENU-based approach to generating an allelic series in any gene.

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  • 1MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit, Medical Research Council, OX11 0RD, Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK.


N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) introduces mutations throughout the mouse genome at relatively high efficiency. Successful high-throughput phenotype screens have been reported and alternative screens using sequence-based approaches have been proposed. For the purpose of generating an allelic series in selected genes by a sequence-based approach, we have constructed an archive of over 4000 DNA samples from individual F1 ENU-mutagenized mice paralleled by frozen sperm samples. Together with our previously reported archive, the total size now exceeds 6000 individuals. A gene-based screen of 27.4 Mbp of DNA, carried out using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC), found a mutation rate of 1 in 1.01 Mbp of which 1 in 1.82 Mbp were potentially functional. Screening of whole or selected regions of genes on subsets of the archive has allowed us to identify 15 new alleles from 9 genes out of 15 tested. This is a powerful adjunct to conventional mutagenesis strategies and has the advantage of generating a variety of alleles with potentially different phenotypic outcomes that facilitate the investigation of gene function. It is now available to academic collaborators as a community resource.

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