Two dominant mutations in the mouse Fused gene are the result of transposon insertions

Thomas J. Vasicek, Li Zeng, X. J. Guan, Tong Zhang, Frank Costantini, Shirley M. Tilghman

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144 Scopus citations


The mouse Fused locus encodes a protein that has been implicated in the regulation of embryonic axis formation. The protein, which has been named Axin to distinguish it from the product of the unrelated Drosophila melanogaster gene fused, contains regions of similarity to the RGS (regulators of G-protein signaling) family of proteins as well as to dishevelled, a protein that acts downstream of Wingless in D. melanogaster. Loss-of-function mutations at Fused lead to lethality between days 8 and 10 of gestation. Three dominant mutations result in a kinked tail in heterozygotes. Two of the dominant mutations, Fused and Knobbly, result from insertions of intracisternal A particle retrotransposons into the gene. The insertion in Fused, within the sixth intron, creates a gene that produces wild-type transcripts as well as mutant transcripts that initiate at both the authentic promoter and the 3'-most long terminal repeat of the insertion. Knobbly, an insertion of the retrotransposon into exon 7, precludes the production of wild-type protein. Thus the Fused homozygote is viable whereas Knobbly is a recessive embryonic lethal. In both mutants the dominant kink- tailed phenotype is likely to result from the synthesis of similar amino- terminal fragments of Axin protein that would contain the RGS domain, but lack the dishevelled domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-786
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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