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Cell Biochem Biophys. 2010 Dec;58(3):129-35. doi: 10.1007/s12013-010-9097-9.

Identification of a novel mouse brachyury (T) allele causing a short tail mutation in mice.

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Laboratory of Experimental Animal Science, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, China.


Mutations in T-box genes are associated with numerous disease states in humans. The objective of this paper was to characterize the T(shao), a specific T-box mutation, in mice. T(shao), a short-tailed mutant mouse strain in a B6 background, was obtained by ethylnitrosourea mutagenesis. Microsatellite genomic scans mapped the location of the mutation. RT-PCR was used to amplify the identified region and the product was sequenced. DNA of the region was sequenced and scanned for mutations. Tails of T(shao) mice were mostly curly with tail length ranging from less than 1 cm (tail bud) to half of the normal length. T(shao) presented single dominance gene inheritance, and homozygous mutant mice died approximately at E10. Scans of the F2 generation mapped the mutant gene to chromosome 17, near D17Mit143. The Brachyury (T) gene was identified as a potential candidate gene in this location. To confirm this, RT-PCR was performed on RNA from intercrossed 8.5-day embryos, and products were sequenced. A 67-nucleotide deletion in exon 2 of the mutant T gene was identified. Further sequencing of the genomic DNA from this region identified a T to A transversion at the 67th nucleotide of exon 2. The T(shao) mutation is a result of a deletion in exon 2 causing the early termination and loss of function of protein encoded by the T gene, manifesting as a short tail phenotype.

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