We identified a non-synonymous mutation in Oas2 (I405N), a sensor of viral double-stranded RNA, from an ENU-mutagenesis screen designed to discover new genes involved in mammary development. The mutation caused post-partum failure of lactation in healthy mice with otherwise normally developed mammary glands, characterized by greatly reduced milk protein synthesis coupled with epithelial cell death, inhibition of proliferation and a robust interferon response. Expression of mutant but not wild type Oas2 in cultured HC-11 or T47D mammary cells recapitulated the phenotypic and transcriptional effects observed in the mouse. The mutation activates the OAS2 pathway, demonstrated by a 34-fold increase in RNase L activity, and its effects were dependent on expression of RNase L and IRF7, proximal and distal pathway members. This is the first report of a viral recognition pathway regulating lactation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research