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Cell. 1988 Jul 29;54(3):383-91.

Role of endogenous retroviruses as mutagens: the hairless mutation of mice.

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  • 1Tufts University School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.

Abstract

We have developed an experimental approach to distinguish the 40-60 endogenous C-type proviruses of mice and to determine their association with well characterized developmental and physiological mutations. The hairless (hr) mutation causes a variety of pleiotropic effects. Using oligonucleotide probes specific for different classes of murine leukemia virus, we have identified and cloned a provirus present in HRS/J hr/hr animals but absent in HRS/J +/+. Genetic analyses showed perfect concordance between the hr phenotype and the presence of the provirus in a number of inbred and congenic strains of mice. Molecular analysis of a haired revertant established the causal relationship since it revealed the excision of most of the proviral genome leaving behind one long terminal repeat. These findings show that virus integration caused the hairless mutation and point to the utility of naturally occurring retroviral integrations for accessing the genome of the mouse.

PMID:
2840205
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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