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Cell. 1993 Jul 30;74(2):395-404.

Mutations at the mouse microphthalmia locus are associated with defects in a gene encoding a novel basic-helix-loop-helix-zipper protein.

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Laboratory of Viral and Molecular Pathogenesis, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Mice with mutations at the microphthalmia (mi) locus have some or all of the following defects: loss of pigmentation, reduced eye size, failure of secondary bone resorption, reduced numbers of mast cells, and early onset of deafness. Using a transgenic insertional mutation at this locus, we have identified a gene whose expression is disrupted in transgenic animals. This gene encodes a novel member of the basic-helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper (bHLH-ZIP) protein family of transcription factors, is altered in mice carrying two independent mi alleles (mi and miws), and is expressed in the developing eye, ear, and skin, all anatomical sites affected by mi. The multiple spontaneous and induced mutations available at mi provide a unique biological resource for studying the role of a bHLH-ZIP protein in mammalian development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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