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Genetics. 2011 Apr;187(4):1185-91. doi: 10.1534/genetics.110.125906. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Modifier genes for mouse phosphatidylinositol transfer protein α (vibrator) that bypass juvenile lethality.

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Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0644, USA.


Phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) mediate lipid signaling and membrane trafficking in eukaryotic cells. Loss-of-function mutations of the gene encoding PITPα in mice result in a range of dosage-sensitive phenotypes, including neurological dysfunction, neurodegeneration, and premature death. We have previously reported genetic suppression of a strong hypomorphic allele, vibrator, by a wild-derived variant of Nxf1, which increases the level of PITPα made from vibrator alleles and suppresses each of the neurological and survival phenotypes. Here we report discovery and genetic mapping of additional vibrator modifiers, Mvb2 and Mvb3, from a different strain background that suppresses juvenile lethality without suppressing visible phenotypes or gene expression. Genotype-specific survival analysis predicts molecular heterosis at Mvb3. These results indicate a mechanism of suppression that bypasses a quantitative requirement for PITPα function.

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