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Hum Mol Genet. 2007 Aug 1;16(15):1802-13. Epub 2007 May 21.

Rai1 deficiency in mice causes learning impairment and motor dysfunction, whereas Rai1 heterozygous mice display minimal behavioral phenotypes.

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Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030-3498, USA.


Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is associated with an approximately 3.7 Mb common deletion in 17p11.2 and characterized by its craniofacial and neurobehavioral abnormalities. The reciprocal duplication leads to dup(17)(p11.2p11.2) associated with the Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PLS), a neurological disorder whose features include autism. Retinoic acid induced 1 (RAI1) appears to be responsible for the majority of clinical features in both SMS and PLS. Mouse models of these syndromes harboring an approximately 2 Mb chromosome engineered deletion and duplication, respectively, displayed abnormal locomotor activity and/or learning deficits. To determine the contribution of RAI1 in the neurobehavioral traits in SMS, we performed a battery of behavioral tests on Rai1 mutant mice and the Df(11)17-1/+ mice that have a small deletion of approximately 590 kb. The mice with the small deletion were hypoactive like the large deletion mice and they also showed learning deficits. The Rai1+/- mice exhibited normal locomotor activity. However, they had an abnormal electroencephalogram with overt seizure observed in a subset of mice. The few surviving Rai1-/- mice displayed more severe neurobehavioral abnormalities including hind limb clasping, overt seizures, motor impairment and context- and tone-dependant learning deficits. X-gal staining of the Rai1+/- mice suggests that Rai1 is predominantly expressed in neurons of the hippocampus and the cerebellum. Our results suggest that Rai1 is a critical gene in the central nervous system functioning in a dosage sensitive manner and that the neurobehavioral phenotype is modified by regulator(s) in the approximately 590 kb genomic interval, wherein the major modifier affecting the craniofacial penetrance resides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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