Internist
34 years of experience
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3300 Providence Dr
Ste 206
University Area, Anchorage, AK 99508
907-561-6100
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Education ?

Medical School Score
A.T. Still University - Kirksville (1976)
  • Currently 1 of 4 apples

Awards & Distinctions ?

Associations
Endocrine Society
Hormone Foundation
Member
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Member

Affiliations ?

Dr. Nolan is affiliated with 4 hospitals.

Hospital Affilations

Score

Rankings

  • Alaska Regional Hospital
    2801 Debarr Rd, Anchorage, AK 99508
    • Currently 1 of 4 crosses
  • Providence Alaska Medical Center
    PO Box 196604, Anchorage, AK 99519
    • Currently 1 of 4 crosses
  • Providence Extended Care Center
    4900 Eagle St, Anchorage, AK 99503
  • Providence Valdez Medical Center
    Valdez, AK 99686
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Nolan has contributed to 53 publications.
    Title Tuning the Period of the Mammalian Circadian Clock: Additive and Independent Effects of Ck1εtau and Fbxl3afh Mutations on Mouse Circadian Behavior and Molecular Pacemaking.
    Date March 2011
    Journal The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
    Excerpt

    Circadian pacemaking in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) revolves around a transcriptional/posttranslational feedback loop in which period (Per) and cryptochrome (Cry) genes are negatively regulated by their protein products. Genetically specified differences in this oscillator underlie sleep and metabolic disorders, and dictate diurnal/nocturnal preference. A critical goal, therefore, is to identify mechanisms that generate circadian phenotypic diversity, through both single gene effects and gene interactions. The individual stabilities of PER or CRY proteins determine pacemaker period, and PER/CRY complexes have been proposed to afford mutual stabilization, although how PER and CRY proteins with contrasting stabilities interact is unknown. We therefore examined interactions between two mutations in male mice: Fbxl3(Afh), which lengthens period by stabilizing CRY, and Csnk1ε(tm1Asil) (CK1ε(Tau)), which destabilizes PER, thereby accelerating the clock. By intercrossing these mutants, we show that the stabilities of CRY and PER are independently regulated, contrary to the expectation of mutual stabilization. Segregation of wild-type and mutant alleles generated a spectrum of periods for rest-activity behavior and SCN bioluminescence rhythms. The mutations exerted independent, additive effects on circadian period, biased toward shorter periods determined by CK1ε(Tau). Notably, Fbxl3(Afh) extended the duration of the nadir of the PER2-driven bioluminescence rhythm but CK1ε(Tau) reversed this, indicating that despite maintained CRY expression, CK1ε(Tau) truncated the interval of negative feedback. These results argue for independent, additive biochemical actions of PER and CRY in circadian control, and complement genome-wide epistatic analyses, seeking to decipher the multigenic control of circadian pacemaking.

    Title Stringent Requirement of a Proper Level of Canonical Wnt Signalling Activity for Head Formation in Mouse Embryo.
    Date March 2011
    Journal Development (cambridge, England)
    Excerpt

    In mouse embryos, loss of Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) activity is associated with an ectopic activation of WNT signalling responses in the precursors of the craniofacial structures and leads to a complete truncation of the head at early organogenesis. Here, we show that ENU-induced mutations of genes coding for two WNT canonical pathway factors, the co-receptor LRP6 and the transcriptional co-activator β-catenin, also elicit an ectopic signalling response and result in loss of the rostral tissues of the forebrain. Compound mutant embryos harbouring combinations of mutant alleles of Lrp6, Ctnnb1 and Dkk1 recapitulate the partial to complete head truncation phenotype of individual homozygous mutants. The demonstration of a synergistic interaction of Dkk1, Lrp6 and Ctnnb1 provides compelling evidence supporting the concepts that (1) stringent regulation of the level of canonical WNT signalling is necessary for head formation, (2) activity of the canonical pathway is sufficient to account for the phenotypic effects of mutations in three different components of the signal cascade and (3) rostral parts of the brain and the head are differentially more sensitive to canonical WNT signalling and their development is contingent on negative modulation of WNT signalling activity.

    Title An Enu-induced Mutation in Mouse Glycyl-trna Synthetase (gars) Causes Peripheral Sensory and Motor Phenotypes Creating a Model of Charcot-marie-tooth Type 2d Peripheral Neuropathy.
    Date October 2009
    Journal Disease Models & Mechanisms
    Excerpt

    Mutations in the enzyme glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GARS) cause motor and sensory axon loss in the peripheral nervous system in humans, described clinically as Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2D or distal spinal muscular atrophy type V. Here, we characterise a new mouse mutant, Gars(C201R), with a point mutation that leads to a non-conservative substitution within GARS. Heterozygous mice with a C3H genetic background have loss of grip strength, decreased motor flexibility and disruption of fine motor control; this relatively mild phenotype is more severe on a C57BL/6 background. Homozygous mutants have a highly deleterious set of features, including movement difficulties and death before weaning. Heterozygous animals have a reduction in axon diameter in peripheral nerves, slowing of nerve conduction and an alteration in the recovery cycle of myelinated axons, as well as innervation defects. An assessment of GARS levels showed increased protein in 15-day-old mice compared with controls; however, this increase was not observed in 3-month-old animals, indicating that GARS function may be more crucial in younger animals. We found that enzyme activity was not reduced detectably in heterozygotes at any age, but was diminished greatly in homozygous mice compared with controls; thus, homozygous animals may suffer from a partial loss of function. The Gars(C201R) mutation described here is a contribution to our understanding of the mechanism by which mutations in tRNA synthetases, which are fundamentally important, ubiquitously expressed enzymes, cause axonopathy in specific sets of neurons.

    Title Clocks Go Forward: Progress in the Molecular Genetic Analysis of Rhythmic Behaviour.
    Date July 2009
    Journal Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
    Excerpt

    The molecular basis of circadian homeostasis has proven to be amenable to genetic dissection in many model organisms. Surprisingly, additional factors contributing to an organism's "chronotype" continue to be identified using both forward and reverse genetics. As more factors are identified, the importance of rhythm regulation in all body systems is becoming apparent. Moreover, recent evidence confirms that the regulation of circadian homeostasis can be fine-tuned at a number of molecular levels. This not only ensures that biological rhythms are maintained at a robust level in all cells but also allows for the precise and rapid readjustment of rhythms in response to environmental factors.

    Title A Point Mutation in Trpc3 Causes Abnormal Purkinje Cell Development and Cerebellar Ataxia in Moonwalker Mice.
    Date May 2009
    Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Excerpt

    The hereditary ataxias are a complex group of neurological disorders characterized by the degeneration of the cerebellum and its associated connections. The molecular mechanisms that trigger the loss of Purkinje cells in this group of diseases remain incompletely understood. Here, we report a previously undescribed dominant mouse model of cerebellar ataxia, moonwalker (Mwk), that displays motor and coordination defects and loss of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Mwk mice harbor a gain-of-function mutation (T635A) in the Trpc3 gene encoding the nonselective transient receptor potential cation channel, type C3 (TRPC3), resulting in altered TRPC3 channel gating. TRPC3 is highly expressed in Purkinje cells during the phase of dendritogenesis. Interestingly, growth and differentiation of Purkinje cell dendritic arbors are profoundly impaired in Mwk mice. Our findings define a previously unknown role for TRPC3 in both dendritic development and survival of Purkinje cells, and provide a unique mechanism underlying cerebellar ataxia.

    Title Reliability, Robustness, and Reproducibility in Mouse Behavioral Phenotyping: a Cross-laboratory Study.
    Date December 2008
    Journal Physiological Genomics
    Excerpt

    Establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) as tools for the analysis of behavioral phenotypes is fundamental to mouse functional genomics. It is essential that the tests designed provide reliable measures of the process under investigation but most importantly that these are reproducible across both time and laboratories. For this reason, we devised and tested a set of SOPs to investigate mouse behavior. Five research centers were involved across France, Germany, Italy, and the UK in this study, as part of the EUMORPHIA program. All the procedures underwent a cross-validation experimental study to investigate the robustness of the designed protocols. Four inbred reference strains (C57BL/6J, C3HeB/FeJ, BALB/cByJ, 129S2/SvPas), reflecting their use as common background strains in mutagenesis programs, were analyzed to validate these tests. We demonstrate that the operating procedures employed, which includes open field, SHIRPA, grip-strength, rotarod, Y-maze, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle response, and tail flick tests, generated reproducible results between laboratories for a number of the test output parameters. However, we also identified several uncontrolled variables that constitute confounding factors in behavioral phenotyping. The EUMORPHIA SOPs described here are an important start-point for the ongoing development of increasingly robust phenotyping platforms and their application in large-scale, multicentre mouse phenotyping programs.

    Title Genetic and Molecular Analysis of the Central and Peripheral Circadian Clockwork of Mice.
    Date July 2008
    Journal Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology
    Excerpt

    A hierarchy of interacting, tissue-based clocks controls circadian physiology and behavior in mammals. Preeminent are the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN): central hypothalamic pacemakers synchronized to solar time via retinal afferents and in turn responsible for internal synchronization of other clocks present in major organ systems. The SCN and peripheral clocks share essentially the same cellular timing mechanism. This consists of autoregulatory transcriptional/posttranslational feedback loops in which the Period (Per) and Cryptochrome (Cry) "clock" genes are negatively regulated by their protein products. Here, we review recent studies directed at understanding the molecular and cellular bases to the mammalian clock. At the cellular level, we demonstrate the role of F-box protein Fbxl3 (characterized by the afterhours mutation) in directing the proteasomal degradation of Cry and thereby controlling negative feedback and circadian period of the molecular loops. Within SCN neural circuitry, we describe how neuropeptidergic signaling by VIP synchronizes and sustains the cellular clocks. At the hypothalamic level, signaling via a different SCN neuropeptide, prokineticin, is not required for pacemaking but is necessary for control of circadian behavior. Finally, we consider how metabolic pathways are coordinated in time, focusing on liver function and the role of glucocorticoid signals in driving the circadian transcriptome and proteome.

    Title When Clocks Go Bad: Neurobehavioural Consequences of Disrupted Circadian Timing.
    Date June 2008
    Journal Plos Genetics
    Excerpt

    Progress in unravelling the cellular and molecular basis of mammalian circadian regulation over the past decade has provided us with new avenues through which we can explore central nervous system disease. Deteriorations in measurable circadian output parameters, such as sleep/wake deficits and dysregulation of circulating hormone levels, are common features of most central nervous system disorders. At the core of the mammalian circadian system is a complex of molecular oscillations within the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. These oscillations are modifiable by afferent signals from the environment, and integrated signals are subsequently conveyed to remote central neural circuits where specific output rhythms are regulated. Mutations in circadian genes in mice can disturb both molecular oscillations and measurable output rhythms. Moreover, systematic analysis of these mutants indicates that they can express an array of abnormal behavioural phenotypes that are intermediate signatures of central nervous system disorders. Furthermore, the response of these mutants to psychoactive drugs suggests that clock genes can modify a number of the brain's critical neurotransmitter systems. This evidence has led to promising investigations into clock gene polymorphisms in psychiatric disease. Preliminary indications favour the systematic investigation of the contribution of circadian genes to central nervous system disease.

    Title Impaired Synaptic Plasticity and Motor Learning in Mice with a Point Mutation Implicated in Human Speech Deficits.
    Date June 2008
    Journal Current Biology : Cb
    Excerpt

    The most well-described example of an inherited speech and language disorder is that observed in the multigenerational KE family, caused by a heterozygous missense mutation in the FOXP2 gene. Affected individuals are characterized by deficits in the learning and production of complex orofacial motor sequences underlying fluent speech and display impaired linguistic processing for both spoken and written language. The FOXP2 transcription factor is highly similar in many vertebrate species, with conserved expression in neural circuits related to sensorimotor integration and motor learning. In this study, we generated mice carrying an identical point mutation to that of the KE family, yielding the equivalent arginine-to-histidine substitution in the Foxp2 DNA-binding domain. Homozygous R552H mice show severe reductions in cerebellar growth and postnatal weight gain but are able to produce complex innate ultrasonic vocalizations. Heterozygous R552H mice are overtly normal in brain structure and development. Crucially, although their baseline motor abilities appear to be identical to wild-type littermates, R552H heterozygotes display significant deficits in species-typical motor-skill learning, accompanied by abnormal synaptic plasticity in striatal and cerebellar neural circuits.

    Title Novel Mouse Model of Autosomal Semidominant Adult Hypophosphatasia Has a Splice Site Mutation in the Tissue Nonspecific Alkaline Phosphatase Gene Akp2.
    Date November 2007
    Journal Journal of Bone and Mineral Research : the Official Journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
    Excerpt

    Deactivating mutations in the TNSALP gene cause HPP. Akp2(-/-) mice model severe infantile HPP, but there is no model for the relatively mild adult form. Here we report on mice with an induced mutation in Akp2 that affects splicing. The phenotype of homozygotes mirror aspects of the adult form of HPP. INTRODUCTION: Hypophosphatasia (HPP) is a clinically varied skeletal disorder resulting from deficiency of tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP). Mice lacking Akp2 model infantile HPP characterized by skeletal hypomineralization, impaired growth, seizures, and perinatal mortality. No animal model exists to study the less severe forms of the disease that typically present in later life. MATERIALS AND METHODS: N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis was used to generate mouse models of human disease. A mouse with low plasma alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was identified by our clinical chemistry screen. Its offspring were used for inheritance studies and subjected to biochemical, histological, and radiological phenotyping. DNA was extracted for mapping and osteoblasts harvested for functional studies. RESULTS: We showed semidominant inheritance of the low ALP phenotype and mapped the underlying point mutation to Akp2. Affected offspring bear the splice site mutation 862 + 5G>A-a hypomorphic allele named Akp2(Hpp). The same mutation has been reported in a patient. Akp2(Hpp/+) mice have approximately 50% of normal plasma ALP but display no other biochemical or skeletal abnormalities. Unlike Akp2(-/-) mice, Akp2(Hpp/Hpp) mice have normal initial skeletal development and growth, a normal lifespan and do not have seizures. TNSALP is low but detectable in Akp2(Hpp/Hpp) plasma. Osteoblasts display approximately 10% of normal ALP activity and reduced intracellular inorganic phosphate levels, yet are capable of normal mineralization in vitro. TNSALP substrates are significantly elevated in urine (inorganic pyrophosphate and phosphoethanolamine) and plasma (pyridoxal 5'-phosphate), whereas plasma inorganic pyrophosphate levels are normal. Akp2(Hpp/Hpp) mice develop late-onset skeletal disease, notably defective endochondral ossification and bone mineralization that leads to arthropathies of knees and shoulders. CONCLUSIONS: Akp2(Hpp/Hpp) mice mirror a number of clinical features of the human adult form of HPP. These mice provide for the first time an animal model of late onset HPP that will be valuable in future mechanistic studies and for the evaluation of therapies such as those aimed at HPP.

    Title Reaching and Grasping Phenotypes in the Mouse (mus Musculus): a Characterization of Inbred Strains and Mutant Lines.
    Date October 2007
    Journal Neuroscience
    Excerpt

    Skilled movements, such as reaching and grasping, have classically been considered as originating in the primate lineage. For this reason, the use of rodents to investigate the genetic and molecular machinery of reaching and grasping has been limited in research. A few studies in rodents have now shown that these movements are not exclusive to primates. Here we present a new test, the Mouse Reaching and Grasping (MoRaG) performance scale, intended to help researchers in the characterization of these motor behaviors in the mouse. Within the MoRaG test battery we identified early phenotypes for the characterization of motor neurone (Tg[SOD1-G93A](dl)1Gur mice) and neurodegenerative (TgN(HD82Gln)81Dbo transgenic mice) disease models in addition to specific motor deficits associated with aging (C3H/HeH inbred strain). We conclude that the MoRaG test can be used to further investigate complex neuromuscular, neurological, neurodegenerative and behavioral disorders. Moreover, our study supports the validity of the mouse as a model for reaching and grasping studies.

    Title Defining the Cause of Skewed X-chromosome Inactivation in X-linked Mental Retardation by Use of a Mouse Model.
    Date June 2007
    Journal American Journal of Human Genetics
    Excerpt

    Extreme skewing of X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) is rare in the normal female population but is observed frequently in carriers of some X-linked mutations. Recently, it has been shown that various forms of X-linked mental retardation (XLMR) have a strong association with skewed XCI in female carriers, but the mechanisms underlying this skewing are unknown. ATR-X syndrome, caused by mutations in a ubiquitously expressed, chromatin-associated protein, provides a clear example of XLMR in which phenotypically normal female carriers virtually all have highly skewed XCI biased against the X chromosome that harbors the mutant allele. Here, we have used a mouse model to understand the processes causing skewed XCI. In female mice heterozygous for a null Atrx allele, we found that XCI is balanced early in embryogenesis but becomes skewed over the course of development, because of selection favoring cells expressing the wild-type Atrx allele. Unexpectedly, selection does not appear to be the result of general cellular-viability defects in Atrx-deficient cells, since it is restricted to specific stages of development and is not ongoing throughout the life of the animal. Instead, there is evidence that selection results from independent tissue-specific effects. This illustrates an important mechanism by which skewed XCI may occur in carriers of XLMR and provides insight into the normal role of ATRX in regulating cell fate.

    Title Scffbxl3 Controls the Oscillation of the Circadian Clock by Directing the Degradation of Cryptochrome Proteins.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Science (new York, N.y.)
    Excerpt

    One component of the circadian clock in mammals is the Clock-Bmal1 heterodimeric transcription factor. Among its downstream targets, two genes, Cry1 and Cry2, encode inhibitors of the Clock-Bmal1 complex that establish a negative-feedback loop. We found that both Cry1 and Cry2 proteins are ubiquitinated and degraded via the SCF(Fbxl3) ubiquitin ligase complex. This regulation by SCF(Fbxl3) is a prerequisite for the efficient and timely reactivation of Clock-Bmal1 and the consequent expression of Per1 and Per2, two regulators of the circadian clock that display tumor suppressor activity. Silencing of Fbxl3 produced no effect in Cry1-/-;Cry2-/- cells, which shows that Fbxl3 controls clock oscillations by mediating the degradation of CRY proteins.

    Title The After-hours Mutant Reveals a Role for Fbxl3 in Determining Mammalian Circadian Period.
    Date May 2007
    Journal Science (new York, N.y.)
    Excerpt

    By screening N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-mutagenized animals for alterations in rhythms of wheel-running activity, we identified a mouse mutation, after hours (Afh). The mutation, a Cys(358)Ser substitution in Fbxl3, an F-box protein with leucine-rich repeats, results in long free-running rhythms of about 27 hours in homozygotes. Circadian transcriptional and translational oscillations are attenuated in Afh mice. The Afh allele significantly affected Per2 expression and delayed the rate of Cry protein degradation in Per2::Luciferase tissue slices. Our in vivo and in vitro studies reveal a central role for Fbxl3 in mammalian circadian timekeeping.

    Title Gene-environment Interactions Differentially Affect Mouse Strain Behavioral Parameters.
    Date January 2007
    Journal Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
    Excerpt

    Systematic phenotyping of mouse strains and mutants generated through genome-wide mutagenesis programs promises to deliver a wealth of functional genetic information. To this end, the appropriation of a standard series of phenotyping protocols is desirable to produce data sets that are consistent within and across laboratories and across time. Standard phenotyping protocols such as EMPReSS (European Mouse Phenotyping Resource for Standardised Screens) provide a series of protocols aimed at phenotyping multiple body systems that could realistically be adopted and/or reproduced in any laboratory. This includes a series of neurologic and behavioral screens, bearing in mind that this class of phenotype is well represented in targeted mutants and mutagenesis screens. Having cross-validated screening batteries in a number of laboratories and in a number of commonly used inbred strains, our group was interested in establishing whether subtle changes in cage environment could affect behavioral test outcome. Aside from unavoidable quantitative differences in test outcome, we identified significant and distinct genotype-environment-test interactions. For example, specific strain order in open-field center entries and total distance traveled can be reversed depending on the form of enrichment used, while prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response is, even quantitatively, unaffected by the enrichment condition. Our findings argue that unless systematically recorded, behavioral studies conducted under subtle variations in cage environment may lead to data misinterpretation, although this could be limited to particular behaviors. Further investigations into the extent and limits of genetic and environmental variables are critical for the realization of both behavioral and functional genomics endpoints.

    Title A Comparison of Physiological and Behavioural Parameters in C57bl/6j Mice Undergoing Food or Water Restriction Regimes.
    Date October 2006
    Journal Behavioural Brain Research
    Excerpt

    Laboratory animals, when subjected to behavioural tests, are often motivationally primed by a period of prior water or food restriction. To date, it is still debatable which restriction protocol (water versus food) is more appropriate for different species. In general, a protocol is considered appropriate if animal discomfort is kept to a minimum whilst motivation for the task is maximised. Here we present a comparison study of the effects of water versus food restriction protocols in mice. The characterisation of the physiological and behavioural effects of food and water restriction in mice is beneficial for both institutional animal care centres and the scientific community. We have investigated body weight fluctuations in three groups of C57BL/6J female mice (water-restricted, food-restricted and control) in two different protocols (20 h versus 22 h of restriction per day) over 2 consecutive weeks. Subsequently, a selected number of mice from each group were subjected to a battery of behavioural tests to investigate exploratory, emotional and dominance behaviours, in addition to learning and memory processes. Body weight fluctuations suggested that mice tolerate a water restriction regimen better than a comparable food restriction regimen. Furthermore, behavioural performances demonstrated that food-restricted mice show a reduction in the exploration of a new environment and particular aspects of their timing memories are distorted. Finally, both water- and food-restricted mice tended to be more offensive than control mice when paired with an opponent in a social dominance test condition.

    Title The Role of Mutagenesis in Defining Genes in Behaviour.
    Date July 2006
    Journal European Journal of Human Genetics : Ejhg
    Excerpt

    The study of human behavioural and psychiatric disorders benefits from the development of genetic models in mice and other organisms. Mouse mutants allow one to investigate the molecular basis of disease progression and to develop novel therapies. The number of potential mouse models is increasing dramatically through the implementation of mutagenesis screens for aberrant behavioural phenotypes. The alkylating agent N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea ENU is the mutagen of choice in these screens as it induces mutations at a very high rate. Progeny of chemically-mutagenised animals are screened either in systematic high-throughput test batteries or in specific low-throughput tests. Both approaches have been highly successful with large numbers of novel loci being identified and characterised. Many mutant lines are available for general research with phenotypes and genetic map positions on public websites. Of the mutant genes characterised, the majority have contributed to our knowledge of gene function in physiology and disease. The 'mutagenesis screening' approach continues to evolve through the design of new phenotyping strategies. The development of modifier screens in mice shows promise in the elucidation of complex phenotypes whereas the use of mutagenesis in combination with pharmacological agents targets specific neurochemical systems. Finally, the systematic screening approach has demonstrated that mutations are likely to affect more than one biological process.

    Title Dissecting the Genetic Complexity of Human 6p Deletion Syndromes by Using a Region-specific, Phenotype-driven Mouse Screen.
    Date October 2005
    Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Excerpt

    Monosomy of the human chromosome 6p terminal region results in a variety of congenital malformations that include brain, craniofacial, and organogenesis abnormalities. To examine the genetic basis of these phenotypes, we have carried out an unbiased functional analysis of the syntenic region of the mouse genome (proximal Mmu13). A genetic screen for recessive mutations in this region recovered thirteen lines with phenotypes relevant to a variety of clinical conditions. These include two loci that cause holoprosencephaly, two that underlie anophthalmia, one of which also contributes to other craniofacial abnormalities such as microcephaly, agnathia, and palatogenesis defects, and one locus responsible for developmental heart and kidney defects. Analysis of heterozygous carriers of these mutations shows that a high proportion of these loci manifest with behavioral activity and sensorimotor deficits in the heterozygous state. This finding argues for the systematic, reciprocal phenotypic assessment of dominant and recessive mouse mutants. In addition to providing a resource of single gene mutants that model 6p-associated disorders, the work reveals unsuspected genetic complexity at this region. In particular, many of the phenotypes associated with 6p deletions can be elicited by mutation in one of a number of genes. This finding implies that phenotypes associated with contiguous gene deletion syndromes can result not only from dosage sensitivity of one gene in the region but also from the combined effect of monosomy for multiple genes that function within the same biological process.

    Title Mutations in Gasdermin 3 Cause Aberrant Differentiation of the Hair Follicle and Sebaceous Gland.
    Date April 2005
    Journal The Journal of Investigative Dermatology
    Excerpt

    Defolliculated (Dfl) is a spontaneous mouse mutant with a hair-loss phenotype that includes altered sebaceous gland differentiation, short hair shafts, aberrant catagen stage of the hair cycle, and eventual loss of the hair follicle. Recently a similar mutant, finnegan (Fgn), with an identical phenotype was discovered during a phenotypic screen for mutations induced by chemical mutagenesis. The gene underlying the phenotype of both finnegan and defolliculated has been mapped to chromosome 11 and here we show that both mice harbor mutations in gasdermin 3 (Gsdm3), a gene of unknown function. Gsdm3(Dfl) is a B2 insertion near the 3' splice site of exon 7 and Gsdm3(Fgn) is a point mutation T278P. To investigate the role of the gasdermin gene family an antiserum was raised to a peptide highly homologous to all three mouse gasdermins and human gasdermin. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that gasdermins are expressed specifically in cells at advanced stages of differentiation in the upper epidermis, the differentiating inner root sheath and hair shaft and in the most mature sebocytes of the sebaceous gland and preputial, meibomium, ceruminous gland, and anal glands. This expression pattern suggests a role for gasdermins in differentiation of the epidermis and its appendages.

    Title Towards a Mutant Map of the Mouse--new Models of Neurological, Behavioural, Deafness, Bone, Renal and Blood Disorders.
    Date April 2005
    Journal Genetica
    Excerpt

    With the completion of the first draft of the human genome sequence, the next major challenge is assigning function to genes. One approach is genome-wide random chemical mutagenesis, followed by screening for mutant phenotypes of interest and subsequent mapping and identification of the mutated genes in question. We (a consortium made up of GlaxoSmithKline, the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mouse Genome Centre, Harwell, Imperial College, London, and the Royal London Hospital) have used ENU mutagenesis in the mouse for the rapid generation of novel mutant phenotypes for use as animal models of human disease and for gene function assignment (Nolan et al., 2000). As of 2003, 35,000 mice have been produced to date in a genome-wide screen for dominant mutations and screened using a variety of screening protocols. Nearly 200 mutants have been confirmed as heritable and added to the mouse mutant catalogue and, overall, we can extrapolate that we have recovered over 700 mutants from the screening programme. For further information on the project and details of the data, see http://www.mgu.har.mrc.ac.uk/mutabase.

    Title Effects of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum on Reproductive Success in House Finches.
    Date March 2005
    Journal Avian Diseases
    Excerpt

    Long known as a pathogen of poultry, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) was first detected in house finches in 1994. The disease rapidly spread throughout the eastern United States and Canada and was associated with debilitating disease and high mortality in house finches. However, in the late 1990s, the proportion of infected finches dying as a result of infection with MG decreased, and asymptomatic infection was more common among wild birds than in the past. We documented MG infections in breeding house finches and concluded that adults of both sexes transmit the infection to dependent young, probably after hatch. MG infections of breeding adults occurred late in the breeding season and were found in birds completing significantly more nests than birds that never tested positive for MG, implying that higher rates of reproduction carry a cost in the form of increased risk of infection. We found evidence of an MG-induced delay in dispersal of nestlings from their natal area and demonstrated a significant impact of infection on nestling growth.

    Title Screening for Novel Enu-induced Rhythm, Entrainment and Activity Mutants.
    Date October 2004
    Journal Genes, Brain, and Behavior
    Excerpt

    Chemical mutagenesis has provided an opportunity to develop and expand the repertoire of behavioural mutants for gene function studies. With this in mind, we have established a screen in mice for mutations affecting circadian rhythms, entrainment to light and other wheel-running parameters. The screen consists of an assessment of mouse wheel-running activity in a 12:12 h light/dark cycle for 7-10 days followed by assessment in constant darkness for up to 20 days. Responses to light are assessed using two protocols; a 15 minute light pulse given at circadian time 16 on the tenth day in constant darkness and an additional 12 h of light upon transition from light/dark conditions to constant darkness. To date, approximately 1300 progeny of chemically mutagenised mice have been screened. Computer-aided assessment of wheel-running parameters has helped in identifying abnormal phenotypes in approximately 5% of all animals screened. Inheritance testing of mice with abnormal phenotypes has confirmed the number of robustly inherited mutant phenotypes to be 1% of the total screened. Confirmed mutants including those affecting free-running period, light-responsiveness and wheel-running endurance have been identified. Thus far, low-resolution map positions have been established for four mutants by completing genome scans in backcross progeny. Mutant loci do not correspond with those previously associated with wheel-running behaviour. This result confirms that phenotype-driven approaches such as this should continue to provide material for mammalian gene function studies.

    Title N-ethyl-n-nitrosourea Mouse Mutants in the Dissection of Behavioural and Psychiatric Disorders.
    Date July 2004
    Journal European Journal of Pharmacology
    Excerpt

    Twin and adoption studies have consistently implicated genetics in the aetiology of psychiatric and behavioural disorders. The identification of the genes and molecular pathways that are associated with these traits using linkage studies has been difficult because psychiatric disorders are almost always non-mendelian, heterogeneous, involve multiple genetic loci and are influenced significantly by environmental factors. Mouse models that are based on intermediate signatures of psychiatric disease and pharmacological responsiveness hold promise as a complementary approach to dissecting the molecular basis of neurobehavioural disorders. This has been made possible by the development and refinement of gene targeting technologies and the use of super-efficient chemical mutagens. N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis in the mouse, when coupled to a battery of sensitive behavioural screens, is an effective way of creating and identifying novel mouse behavioural mutants. Here, the concept of screening for ENU mutants is introduced while progress with two behavioural screens, an "anxiety" screen and a circadian screen, are presented. It is hoped that the study of mouse mutants that have arisen from these screens will provide new insights into the genetic basis of abnormal behaviour and that they might lead to the development of novel therapeutic compounds for human psychiatric disease.

    Title Mutation of Celsr1 Disrupts Planar Polarity of Inner Ear Hair Cells and Causes Severe Neural Tube Defects in the Mouse.
    Date February 2004
    Journal Current Biology : Cb
    Excerpt

    We identified two novel mouse mutants with abnormal head-shaking behavior and neural tube defects during the course of independent ENU mutagenesis experiments. The heterozygous and homozygous mutants exhibit defects in the orientation of sensory hair cells in the organ of Corti, indicating a defect in planar cell polarity. The homozygous mutants exhibit severe neural tube defects as a result of failure to initiate neural tube closure. We show that these mutants, spin cycle and crash, carry independent missense mutations within the coding region of Celsr1, encoding a large protocadherin molecule [1]. Celsr1 is one of three mammalian homologs of Drosophila flamingo/starry night, which is essential for the planar cell polarity pathway in Drosophila together with frizzled, dishevelled, prickle, strabismus/van gogh, and rhoA. The identification of mouse mutants of Celsr1 provides the first evidence for the function of the Celsr family in planar cell polarity in mammals and further supports the involvement of a planar cell polarity pathway in vertebrate neurulation.

    Title Novel Phenotypes Identified by Plasma Biochemical Screening in the Mouse.
    Date June 2003
    Journal Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
    Excerpt

    We used ENU mutagenesis in the mouse for the rapid generation of novel mutant phenotypes for both gene function studies and use as new animal models of human disease (Nolan et al. 2000b). One focus of the program was the development of a blood biochemistry screen. At 8-12 weeks of age, approximately 300 ml of blood was collected from F1 offspring of ENU mutagenized male mice. This yielded approximately 125 ml of plasma, used to perform a profile of 17 standard biochemical tests on an Olympus analyzer. Cohorts of F1 mice were also aged and then retested to detect late onset phenotypes. In total, 1,961 F1s were screened. Outliers were identified by running means and standard deviations. Of 70 mice showing consistent abnormalities in plasma biochemistry, 29 were entered into inheritance testing. Of these, 9 phenotypes were confirmed as inherited, 10 found not to be inherited, and 10 are still being tested. Inherited mutant phenotypes include abnormal lipid profiles (low total and HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides); abnormalities in bone and liver metabolism (low ALP, high ALP, high ALT, and AST); abnormal plasma electrolyte levels (high sodium and chloride); as well as phenotypes of interest for the study of diabetes (high glucose). The gene loci bearing the mutations are currently being mapped and further characterized. Our results have validated our biochemical screen, which is applicable to other mutagenesis projects, and we have produced a new set of mutants with defined metabolic phenotypes.

    Title A Mutation in Af4 is Predicted to Cause Cerebellar Ataxia and Cataracts in the Robotic Mouse.
    Date March 2003
    Journal The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
    Excerpt

    The robotic mouse is an autosomal dominant mutant that arose from a large-scale chemical mutagenesis program. It has a jerky, ataxic gait and develops adult-onset Purkinje cell loss in the cerebellum in a striking region-specific pattern, as well as cataracts. Genetic and physical mapping of the disease locus led to the identification of a missense mutation in a highly conserved region of Af4, a putative transcription factor that has been previously implicated in leukemogenesis. We demonstrate that Af4 is specifically expressed in Purkinje cells, and we hypothesize that the expression of mutant Af4 leads to neurodegeneration. This function was not identified through knock-out studies, highlighting the power of phenotype-driven mutagenesis in the mouse to identify new pathways involved in neurological disease.

    Title Mutations in Rab3a Alter Circadian Period and Homeostatic Response to Sleep Loss in the Mouse.
    Date November 2002
    Journal Nature Genetics
    Excerpt

    Rab3a is the most abundant Rab (ras-associated binding) protein in the brain and has a regulatory role in synaptic vesicle trafficking. Mice with a targeted loss-of-function mutation in Rab3a have defects in Ca(2+)-dependent synaptic transmission: the number of vesicles released in response to an action potential is greater than in wildtype mice, resulting in greater synaptic depression and the abolishment of CA3 mossy-fiber long term potentiation. The effect of these changes on behavior is unknown. In a screen for mouse mutants with abnormal rest-activity and sleep patterns, we identified a semidominant mutation, called earlybird, that shortens the circadian period of locomotor activity. Sequence analysis of Rab3a identified a point mutation in the conserved amino acid (Asp77Gly) within the GTP-binding domain of this protein in earlybird mutants, resulting in significantly reduced levels of Rab3a protein. Phenotypic assessment of earlybird mice and a null allele of Rab3a revealed anomalies in circadian period and sleep homeostasis, providing evidence that Rab3a-mediated synaptic transmission is involved in these behaviors.

    Title Novel Enu-induced Eye Mutations in the Mouse: Models for Human Eye Disease.
    Date September 2002
    Journal Human Molecular Genetics
    Excerpt

    We have carried out a genome-wide screen for novel N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-induced mutations that give rise to eye and vision abnormalities in the mouse and have identified 25 inherited phenotypes that affect all parts of the eye. A combination of genetic mapping, complementation and molecular analysis revealed that 14 of these are mutations in genes previously identified to play a role in eye pathophysiology, namely Pax6, Mitf, Egfr and Pde6b. Many of the others are located in genomic regions lacking candidate genes and these define new loci. Four of the mutants display a similar phenotype of dilated pupils but do not appear to be allelic, and at least two of these are embryonic lethal when homozygous. This collection of eye mutations will be valuable for understanding gene function, for dissecting protein function and as models of human eye disease.

    Title In Search of New Disease Models in the Mouse Using Enu Mutagenesis.
    Date July 2002
    Journal Ernst Schering Research Foundation Workshop
    Title Characterization of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Infection in Captive House Finches (carpodacus Mexicanus) in 1998.
    Date September 2001
    Journal Avian Diseases
    Excerpt

    Since 1995, the epidemic of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in eastern house finches has affected the Auburn, AL, house finch population. To better characterize the current status of this host-parasite interaction, we established a captive flock of 38 seronegative, healthy finches in fall 1998. After a minimum quarantine period of 4 wk, two Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG)-infected house finches were introduced into this flock. Over a 12-wk period, the flock was captured every 2 wk and each bird was observed for conjunctivitis. Blood and choanal swabs were collected from each bird for serologic analysis and for the detection of MG by polymerase chain reaction. The infection spread rapidly through the flock just as it had in a similar study performed in 1996 at the height of the epidemic. Unlike the earlier study in which birds remained chronically infected, most of the birds in our study recovered rapidly, and only three of the birds died during the study. Two patterns of host response to infection with MG were observed. Twenty-seven birds (73%) experienced an acute conjunctivitis that resolved, and the birds appeared to clear the infection. Ten birds (27%) suffered prolonged clinical disease, and MG could be detected in these birds intermittently throughout the experiment. These results, in conjunction with our surveys of MG in the wild population, suggest an evolving host-parasite interaction.

    Title Characterization of the Mycoplasmal Conjunctivitis Epizootic in a House Finch Population in the Southeastern Usa.
    Date July 2001
    Journal Journal of Wildlife Diseases
    Excerpt

    An epidemiological study of the prevalence of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) was conducted in Auburn (Alabama, USA) between March 1998 and February 1999. Clinical disease was observed in 4% of the 1,214 finches trapped and examined. This rate is comparable to the average annual prevalence observed in this population since 1996, although the prevalence of clinical disease observed in the peak months of September through November was lower than in previous years. Clinically ill birds were observed in all months of the study. To estimate the prevalence of recovering and asymptomatic, infected birds, we tested a subset of 334 house finches serologically for exposure to Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) using the serum plate agglutination (SPA) assay. The prevalence of clinical disease in this subsample was slightly higher (7%) than in the entire sample, reflecting the fact that the serological survey was initiated in the late summer when the prevalence of MG infection peaks in our study population and a sampling bias for symptomatic birds. The serological survey indicated that 13% of this subpopulation had been exposed to MG. We also tested 46 of 334 finches by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect MG in seropositive, asymptomatic birds. Use of the PCR in conjunction with the SPA detected six asymptomatic, infected birds that may represent potential carriers or birds in the early stages of infection. The decreasing prevalence of clinical disease observed during the peak months suggests a changing host-parasite relationship. Continued surveillance of this population, employing both clinical observation and serological analysis will be useful in characterizing these changes over time.

    Title Generation of Mouse Mutants As a Tool for Functional Genomics.
    Date April 2001
    Journal Pharmacogenomics
    Excerpt

    As sequence information becomes available from the Human Genome Project, key developments include systematic methods for assigning function to each of the 100,000 or so genes. Strategies for coping with this sequence information, including microarray analysis and proteomics, will further our understanding of how genes function and interact. Ultimately, however, the simplest way to understand how a gene works is to examine the consequences of interference with its function: mutational analysis. The mouse represents the model organism of choice in the analysis of gene function; close enough to human to represent a satisfactory model organism, yet relatively easy to manipulate at a genetic level. Two complementary approaches, genotype- and phenotype-based, have been established in the mouse genetics and genomics communities to systematically generate new mouse mutations. Genotype-based approaches are advantageous in that molecular analysis of mutations is facilitated. Phenotypic analysis, however, is often assumed based on gene expression patterns, often leading to unexpected results. Phenotype-based approaches do not make prior assumptions about gene function. Often, however, it may be difficult to define the underlying genetic lesion. Progress in each of these approaches will be considered and situations in which they might be mutually beneficial will be investigated.

    Title Identification of Two New Pmp22 Mouse Mutants Using Large-scale Mutagenesis and a Novel Rapid Mapping Strategy.
    Date October 2000
    Journal Human Molecular Genetics
    Excerpt

    Mouse mutants have a key role in discerning mammalian gene function and modelling human disease; however, at present mutants exist for only 1-2% of all mouse genes. In order to address this phenotype gap, we have embarked on a genome-wide, phenotype-driven, large-scale N-ethyl-N--nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screen for dominant mutations of clinical and pharmacological interest in the mouse. Here we describe the identification of two similar neurological phenotypes and determination of the underlying mutations using a novel rapid mapping strategy incorporating speed back-crosses and high throughput genotyping. Two mutant mice were identified with marked resting tremor and further characterized using the SHIRPA behavioural and functional assessment protocol. Back-cross animals were generated using in vitro fertilization and genome scans performed utilizing DNA pools derived from multiple mutant mice. Both mutants were mapped to a region on chromosome 11 containing the peripheral myelin protein 22 gene (Pmp22). Sequence analysis revealed novel point mutations in Pmp22 in both lines. The first mutation, H12R, alters the same amino acid as in the severe human peripheral neuropathy Dejerine Sottas syndrome and Y153TER in the other mutant truncates the Pmp22 protein by seven amino acids. Histological analysis of both lines revealed hypo-myelination of peripheral nerves. This is the first report of the generation of a clinically relevant neurological mutant and its rapid genetic characterization from a large-scale mutagenesis screen for dominant phenotypes in the mouse, and validates the use of large-scale screens to generate desired clinical phenotypes in mice.

    Title Implementation of a Large-scale Enu Mutagenesis Program: Towards Increasing the Mouse Mutant Resource.
    Date August 2000
    Journal Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
    Excerpt

    Systematic approaches to mouse mutagenesis will be vital for future studies of gene function. We have begun a major ENU mutagenesis program incorporating a large genome-wide screen for dominant mutations. Progeny of ENU-mutagenized mice are screened for visible defects at birth and weaning, and at 5 weeks of age by using a systematic and semi-quantitative screening protocol-SHIRPA. Following this, mice are screened for abnormal locomotor activity and for deficits in prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response. Moreover, in the primary screen, blood is collected from mice and subjected to a comprehensive clinical biochemical analysis. Subsequently, secondary and tertiary screens of increasing complexity can be used on animals demonstrating deficits in the primary screen. Frozen sperm is archived from all the male mice passing through the screen. In addition, tail tips are stored for DNA. Overall, the program will provide an extensive new resource of mutant and phenotype data to the mouse and human genetics communities at large. The challenge now is to employ the expanding mouse mutant resource to improve the mutant map of the mouse. An improved mutant map of the mouse will be an important asset in exploiting the growing gene map of the mouse and assisting with the identification of genes underlying novel mutations-with consequent benefits for the analysis of gene function and the identification of novel pathways.

    Title Informatics for Mutagenesis: the Design of Mutabase--a Distributed Data Recording System for Animal Husbandry, Mutagenesis, and Phenotypic Analysis.
    Date August 2000
    Journal Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
    Excerpt

    The increasing use of high-throughput methods for the production of biologically important information and the increasing diversity of that information pose considerable bioinformatics challenges. These challenges will be met by implementing electronic data management systems not only to capture the data, but increasingly to provide a platform for data integration and mining as we enter the post-genomic era. We discuss the design and implementation of such a data capture system, 'Mutabase', as a model of how such electronic systems might be designed and implemented. Mutabase was created in support of a large-scale, phenotype-driven mouse mutagenesis program at MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell, in collaboration with SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, and Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London. The aim of this mutagenesis project is to make a significant contribution to the existing mouse mutant resource, closing the phenotype gap and providing many more models for fundamental research and disease modeling. Mutabase records experimental details at the 'point of generation' and provides a number of dissemination and analysis tools for the experimental data, as well as providing a means of assessing various aspects of progress of the program. Mutabase uses a hypertext-based interface to provide interaction between a number of intranet-based client workstations and a central industrial strength database. Mutabase utilizes a variety of techniques in order to implement the user interface system including Perl/CGI, Java Servlets, and an experimental CORBA server. We discuss the relative merits of these methods in the context of the need to provide sound informatics approaches for the support of systematic mutagenesis programs.

    Title A Systematic, Genome-wide, Phenotype-driven Mutagenesis Programme for Gene Function Studies in the Mouse.
    Date August 2000
    Journal Nature Genetics
    Excerpt

    As the human genome project approaches completion, the challenge for mammalian geneticists is to develop approaches for the systematic determination of mammalian gene function. Mouse mutagenesis will be a key element of studies of gene function. Phenotype-driven approaches using the chemical mutagen ethylnitrosourea (ENU) represent a potentially efficient route for the generation of large numbers of mutant mice that can be screened for novel phenotypes. The advantage of this approach is that, in assessing gene function, no a priori assumptions are made about the genes involved in any pathway. Phenotype-driven mutagenesis is thus an effective method for the identification of novel genes and pathways. We have undertaken a genome-wide, phenotype-driven screen for dominant mutations in the mouse. We generated and screened over 26,000 mice, and recovered some 500 new mouse mutants. Our work, along with the programme reported in the accompanying paper, has led to a substantial increase in the mouse mutant resource and represents a first step towards systematic studies of gene function in mammalian genetics.

    Title Towards New Models of Disease and Physiology in the Neurosciences: the Role of Induced and Naturally Occurring Mutations.
    Date May 2000
    Journal Human Molecular Genetics
    Excerpt

    There is a dearth of good mouse models for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. However, the development of gene-targeted technology and the recognition of the importance of the mouse as a model organism have led to the development of a range of behavioural tests for mice. Spontaneous mutations in mice have already provided important information about the role of novel gene products in disorders such as epilepsy and deafness. This has provided the impetus to the establishment of large-scale mutagenesis programmes to generate new mutations. Tests of sensory and motor function have previously been most frequently used as these are simple to perform and the phenotypes are relatively obvious. Subtle phenotypes, of relevance to pyschiatric disorders such as anxiety and schizophrenia, can be detected using more complex tests. Screens such as prepulse inhibition and startle have been adapted for mice and these can be run with relatively high throughput using fully automated equipment. Other behaviours such as sleep and circadian rhythms, learning and memory and nociception can also be assessed. New technological advances in non-invasive imaging and neurochemical analyses have meant that these techniques can be readily applied to mouse phenotyping. The use of these screens together with mutagenesis is already beginning to increase the numbers of mouse models of potential relevance to CNS diseases.

    Title A Retroviral Gene Trap Insertion into the Histone 3.3a Gene Causes Partial Neonatal Lethality, Stunted Growth, Neuromuscular Deficits and Male Sub-fertility in Transgenic Mice.
    Date January 2000
    Journal Human Molecular Genetics
    Excerpt

    Spermatogenesis is a complex developmental pro-cess involving cell division and differentiation. Approximately half of all sterile males have defects in spermatogenesis or sperm function. An insight into the molecular control points regulating this process might help in treating male infertility. Gene trapping in embryonic stem cells and the generation of transgenic mice represents one route to identify genes expressed during spermatogenesis. The trapped gene is tagged with a lacZ reporter gene so that the expression pattern of the gene can be visualized by staining for beta-galactosidase activity. We have screened transgenic mouse lines for expression of trapped genes in the gonads. One such trap event was shown to be in the replacement histone 3.3A gene ( H3.3A ). This gene was expressed ubiquitously during embryonic development until 13.5 days post-coitum and in the adult heart, kidney, brain, testes and ovaries. This mutation resulted in postnatal death of 50% of homozygous mutants. Surviving mutants displayed reduced growth rates when competing with wild-type siblings for food. Mutant mice also had a neuro-muscular deficit and males displayed reduced copulatory activity. When copulations did occur, these resulted in very few pregnancies, suggesting that mutations in the H3.3A gene may contribute to some cases of impaired fertility in man.

    Title Mouse Mutagenesis-systematic Studies of Mammalian Gene Function.
    Date November 1998
    Journal Human Molecular Genetics
    Excerpt

    The mouse will play a pivotal role in mammalian gene function studies as we enter the post-genomics era. The challenge is to develop systematic, genome-wide mutagenesis approaches to the study of gene function. The current mouse mutant resource has been an important source of human genetic disease models. However, despite an apparently large catalogue of mouse mutations, we have access to mutations at only a small fraction of the likely total number of mammalian genes-there is a phenotype gap that needs to be filled by the establishment of new mutagenesis programmes. Two routes, genotype- and phenotype-driven, can be used for the recovery of novel mouse mutations. For the former, gene trap embryonic stem cell libraries appear set to deliver a large number of mutations around the mouse genome. The advantage of genotype-driven approaches is the ease of identification of the mutated locus; the disadvantage that a priori assumptions have to be made concerning the function and likely phenotype of the mutated gene. In contrast, phenotype-driven mutagenesis emphasizes the recovery of novel phenotypes. One phenotype-driven approach that will play an important role in expanding the mouse mutant resource employs the mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU). The phenotype-driven route makes no assumptions about the underlying genes involved, and ENU mutagenesis programmes can be expected to play a significant role in uncovering novel pathways and genes; the disadvantage is that the identification of the mutant gene is still not trivial. Together, the complementary routes of genotype- and phenotype-driven mutagenesis will provide a much enlarged catalogue of mouse mutations and phenotypes for future gene function studies.

    Title Random Mutagenesis Screen for Dominant Behavioral Mutations in Mice.
    Date March 1998
    Journal Methods (san Diego, Calif.)
    Excerpt

    Large-scale mutagenesis and screening for altered phenotypes have been used effectively in many (lower) model organisms to identify mutations in genes that control biological processes. In the mouse, the cost of maintaining the large breeding colonies necessary to screen for recessive mutations makes it important to consider alternate approaches such as region-specific saturation mutagenesis or screening for mutations with a dominant mode of inheritance. In this article, a pilot screen for (semi)dominant visible and behavioral mutations in the mouse induced by a potent chemical mutagen, N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU), is described. An efficient protocol for ENU mutagenesis and strain-specific differences in the effect of mutagen on the sterility period and long-term survival are reported. In addition to a description of the screen for abnormal circadian wheel running activity that was used previously, the suitability of a high-throughput screen of mutagenized progeny in the Porsolt swim test, used to test the efficacy of antidepressant agents, and in the prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, used to detect anomalies in sensorimotor gating, is tested. By demonstrating strain specific differences and prescreening 100 G1 progeny of mutagenized males, the feasibility of using these behavioral assays for a large-scale screen is illustrated. In this review, details of a mutagenesis screen for behavioral abnormalities are described and issues important in the initial characterization of novel ENU-induced mutations are considered.

    Title Mutagenesis and Behavioral Screening for Altered Circadian Activity Identifies the Mouse Mutant, Wheels.
    Date November 1996
    Journal Brain Research
    Excerpt

    The molecular processes underlying the generation of circadian behavior in mammals are virtually unknown. To identify genes that regulate or alter circadian activity rhythms, a mouse mutagenesis program was initiated in conjunction with behavioral screening for alterations in circadian period (tau), a fundamental property of the biological clock. Male mice of the inbred BALB/c strain, treated with the potent mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea were mated with wild-type hybrids. Wheel-running activity of approximately 300 male progeny was monitored for 6-10 weeks under constant dark (DD) conditions. The tau DD of a single mouse (#187) was longer than the population mean by more than three standard deviations (24.20 vs. 23.32 +/- 0.02 h; mean +/- S.E.M.; n = 277). In addition, mouse #187 exhibited other abnormal phenotypes, including hyperactive bi-directional circling/spinning activity and an abnormal response to light. Heterozygous progeny of the founder mouse, generated from outcrossings with wild-type C57BL/6J mice, displayed lengthened tau DD although approximately 20% of the animals showed no wheel-running activity despite being quite active. Under light:dark conditions, all animals displaying circling behavior that ran in the activity wheels exhibited robust wheel-running activity at lights-ON and these animals also showed enhanced wheel-running activity in constant light conditions. The genetic dissection of the complex behavior associated with this mutation was facilitated by the previously described genetic mapping of the mutant locus causing circling behavior, designated Wheels (Whl), to the subcentromeric portion of mouse chromosome 4. In this report, the same locus is shown to be responsible for the abnormal responses to light and presumably for the altered circadian behavior. Characterization of the gene altered in the novel Whl mutation will contribute to understanding the molecular elements involved in mammalian circadian regulation.

    Title Heterozygosity Mapping of Partially Congenic Lines: Mapping of a Semidominant Neurological Mutation, Wheels (whl), on Mouse Chromosome 4.
    Date September 1995
    Journal Genetics
    Excerpt

    We identified a semidominant, chemically induced, mouse mutation with a complex array of abnormal behaviors including bidirectional circling and hyperactivity, abnormal circadian rhythmicity and abnormal responses to light. In this report, we genetically and phenotypically characterized the circling/waltzing component of the abnormal behavior. We mapped the locus controlling this trait by heterozygosity mapping of partially congenic lines carrying the mutagenized chromosome outcrossed to different inbred strains for three generations. Analysis of 68 PCR-based markers in 13 affected individuals indicated that the mutant locus, named Wheels (Whl), resides in the subcentromeric portion of mouse chromosome 4. The statistical evaluation of data obtained by heterozygosity mapping validates this efficient mapping approach. Further characterization of the Whl mutation demonstrated that Whl/Whl homozygotes die during embryonic life and that the penetrance of circling behavior depends on genetic background. Morphological analysis of the inner ears of Whl/+ mice revealed a variable number of abnormalities in the sensory and nonsensory portions of their semicircular canals. Abnormalities ranged from slight atrophy of one or more cristae to complete absence of the lateral crista and canal. The molecular characterization of the gene disrupted in the Whl mutation will provide insight into developmental mechanisms involved in inner ear formation.

    Title Cloning of a Complementary Deoxyribonucleic Acid Encoding the Murine Homolog of the Very Low Density Lipoprotein/apolipoprotein-e Receptor: Expression Pattern and Assignment of the Gene to Mouse Chromosome 19".
    Date March 1995
    Journal Endocrinology
    Title Cloning of a Complementary Deoxyribonucleic Acid Encoding the Murine Homolog of the Very Low Density Lipoprotein/apolipoprotein-e Receptor: Expression Pattern and Assignment of the Gene to Mouse Chromosome 19.
    Date July 1994
    Journal Endocrinology
    Excerpt

    We report the cloning of a complementary DNA for the mouse homolog of the very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)/apolipoprotein-E receptor (VLDLR), the deduced amino acid sequence of the protein, and the mapping of the gene encoding the receptor to mouse chromosome 19. Northern hybridization revealed that the VLDLR messenger RNA (mRNA) is most abundant in skeletal muscle, heart, kidney, and brain. It was also detected in lung and in low levels in liver, but it was not found in spleen or testes. Levels of VLDLR mRNA in mouse placenta increased from days 8-18 of gestation. The VLDLR mRNA was induced in 3T3-L1 cells undergoing differentiation into adipocytes. The increase in VLDLR mRNA paralleled the rise in lipoprotein lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase mRNAs. However, VLDLR and low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein were increased in the presence of retinoic acid, whereas the induction of lipoprotein lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase mRNAs was inhibited. Our observations demonstrate regulated expression of the VLDLR gene in placenta and adipocytes, where the receptor protein may play roles in the uptake of triglyceride-rich particles for storage of lipid (adipocytes) or for lipid transport to the fetus (placenta). The availability of a murine complementary DNA probe and the knowledge of the map position of the VLDLR gene in the mouse genome will facilitate studies on the function and regulation of this protein.

    Title Dibutyryl Cyclic Amp Stimulates Expression of Ependymin Mrna and the Synthesis and Release of the Protein into the Culture Medium by Neuroblastoma Cells (nb2a/d1).
    Date November 1992
    Journal Journal of Neuroscience Research
    Excerpt

    Northern blot, immunoprecipitation, and gel electrophoretic data demonstrate that the mouse neuroblastoma NB2a/d1 cells express ependymin mRNA and synthesize and release into the culture medium a protein with immunoreactivity and electrophoretic mobility properties identical to ependymin. This is a brain extracellular glycoprotein that has been implicated in the consolidation process of memory formation and neuronal regeneration. In labeling experiments with 35S-methionine, dibutyrylcyclic3',5'-adenosine-monophosphate (dbcAMP) was found to stimulate the expression of ependymin mRNA and the enhanced synthesis and release of ependymin into the culture medium at the same time that dbcAMP stimulation of neurite outgrowth takes place. These results are consistent with the proposed role of the protein in the mechanism of neuronal regeneration and synaptogenesis. The data indicate that the NB2a/d1 cell line is a good model system for studies of the functional properties of ependymin.

    Title Intraventricular Infusions of Anti-neural Cell Adhesion Molecules in a Discrete Posttraining Period Impair Consolidation of a Passive Avoidance Response in the Rat.
    Date October 1992
    Journal Journal of Neurochemistry
    Excerpt

    Intraventricular infusions of anti-neural cell adhesion molecule (anti-NCAM) are demonstrated to inhibit consolidation of a passive avoidance response when administered in the 6-8 h posttraining period. Anti-NCAM was ineffective when administered during training or at any other time up to 10 h thereafter, and no amnesic effects were observed with absorbed anti-NCAM or anti-neurofilament protein. Amnesia was observed only at the 48-h recall time, and this could not be attributed to poor antibody penetration or a prolonged residence time, as studies with 125I-labelled anti-NCAM in trained animals demonstrated a rapid accumulation into all brain regions, and this was marked in the olfactory bulb and hippocampus, areas showing an inherent and paradigm-specific increase in NCAM sialylation state, respectively. The lack of an amnesic action at the 24-h recall time is attributed to anti-NCAM-impaired synapse structuring becoming apparent following the paradigm-specific increases in NCAM sialylation state.

    Title Hippocampal Ncam180 Transiently Increases Sialylation During the Acquisition and Consolidation of a Passive Avoidance Response in the Adult Rat.
    Date August 1992
    Journal Journal of Neuroscience Research
    Excerpt

    Synaptic connectivity change is a consistent anatomical feature of memory formation and the possibility that this is mediated by a replay of neurodevelopmental events has been investigated by measuring change in neural cell adhesion molecule sialylation state during the acquisition and consolidation of a passive avoidance response in the adult rat. The avoidance response was always generated after two to three trials and the animals remained on the platform for the criterion time of 5 min. In all cases training was complete within 5-8 min. Change in sialylation state was monitored following intraventricular infusion of the 3H-ManNAc precursor at 4 hr prior to the reference point. No task-specific change in general glycoconjugate sialylation was apparent in hippocampal P2 pellets at increasing times following training. Increased sialylation state was observed only in neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) immunoprecipitates of hippocampal membrane fractions at 12 and 24 hr after training. Change in hippocampal sialylation state could not be attributed to an increased accumulation of NCAM as detected by an immunoabsorbent assay. Immunoblotting of antibody precipitated NCAM demonstrated the 3H-ManNAc to be incorporated into the synapse-specific, 180 kDa isoform of NCAM and a novel 210 kDa isoform. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting procedures with an antibody specific for a2-8-polysialic acid showed the 180 and 210 kDa isoforms to be polysialylated. The role of NCAM180 sialylation as a mechanism for synapse selection in information storage is discussed.

    Title Learning-induced Change in Neural Activity During Acquisition and Consolidation of a Passive Avoidance Response in the Rat.
    Date August 1990
    Journal Neurochemical Research
    Excerpt

    Time-dependent alterations in neural activity have been established during the acquisition and consolidation of a stepdown passive avoidance paradigm. Change in neural activity was established by administering a glucose analogue, [3H]2-deoxyglucose, 50min prior to sacrifice and estimating perchloric acid soluble counts in nine hand dissected brain regions. Change in [3H]2-deoxyglucose uptake was closely paralleled in both trained and yoked animals for up to 40min following task acquisition however the striatum was the only area to exhibit a task-specific increase in [3H]2-deoxyglucose uptake at 20-30min after training. Longterm changes in neural activity were also apparent as the amygdala and brainstem showed increased [3H]2-deoxyglucose uptake at the 24 h time point. No further paradigm-specific changes were apparent at 48 h. These findings are concluded to suggest that the striatum is involved in the early events of acquiring a passive avoidance response and the amygdala and brainstem during the later events.

    Title Acquisition of a Brief Behavioural Experience in the Rat is Inhibited by the Brain-specific Monoclonal Antibody, F3-87-8.
    Date November 1987
    Journal Neuroscience Letters
    Excerpt

    Intraventricular infusion of the brain-specific monoclonal antibody F3-87-8 is demonstrated to inhibit the acquisition of a passive-avoidance paradigm in a rat model. Antibody was infused prior to, and following, training of a step-down task and recall was assessed after 24 and 48 h. The antibody only inhibited recall when infused prior to training and no effect was seen when administered 6 h after acquisition of the task. No effect was found with absorbed antibody or in sham-operated animals and open field studies showed no alterations in locomotor activity. Results are discussed considering available information on the antigen and current memory/learning theories.

    Title Acquisition of a Brief Behavioral Experience in the Presence of Neuron-specific and D2-cam/n-cam-specific Antisera.
    Date September 1987
    Journal Neurochemical Research
    Excerpt

    The effect of intraventricular infusion of D2-CAM/N-CAM directed antibodies prior to the acquisition of a passive-avoidance paradigm is described. The antisera used in this study were the neuron specific anti-BPM and a D2-CAM/N-CAM specific serum, anti-D2. Anti-BPM reliably inhibited paradigm acquisition when recall was ascertained at 24 and 48 hours and no effect was noted with absorbed anti-BPM or in sham-operated animals. This effect was time-dependent and no inhibition of memory formation was noted when the antiserum was administered at 6 and 10 hours after training. In contrast, infusion of anti-D2 had no effect on paradigm acquisition. These findings are discussed in relation to the potential synaptogenic events associated with memory formation.

    Title Therapeutic Problems with Transsphenoidal Pituitary Surgery for Cushing's Disease.
    Date June 1983
    Journal Cleveland Clinic Quarterly
    Title Hormonal Dynamics During Mate Choice in the Northern Pintail: a Test of the 'challenge' Hypothesis
    Date
    Journal Animal Behaviour
    Excerpt

    In previous mate choice experiments, we found no relationship between dominance rank and pairing success in male northern pintails, Anas acutaOnce chosen by a female, however, males became aggressive, initiated fights with higher-ranked males and quickly established dominance. In the present study, we tested a variation of the 'challenge' hypothesis, that the behavioural stimuli associated with acquiring and defending a mate induce an increase in testosterone level, which in turn facilitates aggressive behaviours required for males to establish dominance. We measured plasma hormone levels (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, luteinizing hormone and corticosterone) before and after mate choice in two experiments in which males competed for a single female (experiments 1 and 2) and in a control experiment in which no female was introduced (experiment 3). We used groups of either three adult males (experiment 1) or one adult and two yearling males (experiments 2 and 3). Contrary to expectation, in experiment 1, plasma levels of corticosterone increased significantly and testosterone levels decreased in chosen males following mate choice. The magnitude of change in corticosterone was positively correlated with the rate of aggression by males. Chosen adult males in experiment 2 showed similar patterns of hormone change (corticosterone increase and testosterone decrease), although not all changes were significant. Hormone levels of unchosen yearlings in experiment 2 and control adults and yearlings in experiment 3 showed no changes. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that behavioural stimuli associated with successful pair formation induce a transitory increase in circulating levels of corticosterone, which in turn mediates the behavioural response of increased aggression leading to the establishment of dominance following mate choice. A short-term increase in corticosterone may be adaptive in this situation because it would mobilize energy stores needed by the male to defend the new pair bond and establish dominance.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

    Title Three Novel Pigmentation Mutants Generated by Genome-wide Random Enu Mutagenesis in the Mouse.
    Date
    Journal Comparative and Functional Genomics
    Excerpt

    Three mutant mice with pigmentation phenotypes were recovered from a genomewide random mouse chemical mutagenesis study. White toes (Whto; MGI:1861986), Belly spot and white toes (Bswt; MGI:2152776) and Dark footpads 2 (Dfp2; MGI:1861991) were identified following visual inspection of progeny from a male exposed to the point mutagen ethylnitrosourea (ENU). In order to rapidly localize the causative mutations, genome-wide linkage scans were performed on pooled DNA samples from backcross animals for each mutant line. Whto was mapped to proximal mouse chromosome (Mmu) 7 between Cen (the centromere) and D7Mit112 (8.0 cM from the centromere), Bswt was mapped to centric Mmul between D1Mit214 (32.1 cM) and D1Mit480 (32.8 cM) and Dfp2 was mapped to proximalMmu4 between Cen and D4Mit18 (5.2 cM). Whto, Bswt and Dfp2 may provide novel starting points in furthering the elucidation of genetic and biochemical pathways relevant to pigmentation and associated biological processes.

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