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Genesis. 2001 Apr;29(4):163-71.

The winged helix/forkhead transcription factor Foxq1 regulates differentiation of hair in satin mice.


Satin (sa) homozygous mice have a silky coat with high sheen arising from structurally abnormal medulla cells and defects in differentiation of the hair shaft. We demonstrate that the winged helix/forkhead transcription factor, Foxq1 (Forkhead box, subclass q, member 1) is mutant in sa mice. An intragenic deletion was identified in the radiation-induced satin mutant of the SB/Le inbred strain; a second allele, identified by an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screen, has a missense mutation in the conserved winged helix DNA-binding domain. Homozygous mutants of the two alleles are indistinguishable. We show that Foxq1 is expressed during embryogenesis and exhibits a tissue-restricted expression pattern in adult tissues. The hair defects appear to be restricted to the inner structures of the hair; consequently, Foxq1 has a unique and distinct function involved in differentiation and development of the hair shaft. Despite an otherwise healthy appearance, satin mice have been reported to exhibit suppressed NK-cell function and alloimmune cytotoxic T-cell function. We show instead that the immune defects are attributable to genetic background differences.

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