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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2002 Jan;26(1):1-7.

Gene coding variant in Cas1 between the C57BL/6J and DBA/2J inbred mouse strains: linkage to a QTL for ethanol-induced locomotor activation.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.



Among some (e.g., DBA/2J or D2) but not all (C57BL/6J or B6) inbred strains of mice, ethanol has a marked psychostimulant effect. Intercrosses formed from the D2 and B6 strains have been used to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for this phenotype. The major QTL is found at the mid-region of chromosome 2 (Demarest et al., 1999). This QTL has also been detected in heterogeneous stock mice (Demarest et al., 2001). A potential candidate gene in this region is Cas1, which codes for catalase. The current studies were conducted to determine (a) if there was difference in the open reading frame (ORF) of Cas1 between the D2 and B6 strains; (b) if a difference was found, was it likely that the difference had functional effects; and (c) if it could be established that Cas1 meets the criteria for QTL to gene.


The open reading frame (ORF) of Cas1 was sequenced in both the D2 and B6 mouse strains. A single polymorphism was found between the strains (see below); the strain distribution pattern for this polymorphism was determined in the 36 strains of the B6XD2 (BXD) recombinant inbred (RI) series. These data were used to map the position of Cas1 as described by Cudmore et al. (1999).


The only difference between the D2 and B6 strains in the coding region was found at #349, G->A. This will result in a difference in the amino acid sequence between the strains at amino acid #117-alanine is found in the D2 strain while threonine is found in the B6 strain. The RI strain distribution pattern for this polymorphism was used to determine the relative placement of Cas1. The estimate suggests that Cas1 is flanked by D2Mit12 and D2Mit43 and relative to D2Mit94 (which was set at 47 cM), Cas1 is located at approximately 57 cM, confirming previous estimates (see


Pharmacological data (Correa et al., 2001) strongly support the idea that Cas1 meets the criteria for QTL to gene. However, based on the mapping data, Cas1 is clearly not included in the QTL for heterogeneous stock mice. Finally, other genetic data suggest that the polymorphism is not sufficient to generate the QTL.

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