Molecular Genetic Analysis of Myelin-Deficient Mice: Shiverer Mutant Mice Show Deletion in Gene(s) Coding for Myelin Basic Protein


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Minoru Kimura, Department of Molecular Biology. School of Medicine, Keio University, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160, Japan.


Abstract: The gene expression of myelin basic proteins (MBPs) in shiverer mutant mice was investigated by the Northern and Southern hybridization techniques. In the control mice RNA molecules from the brains which were about 2,300 nucleotides in length were hybridized to cDNA of 1.8 kb encoding for a mouse MBP, but RNA from the brains of 3-week-old shiverer mutant mice contained no detectable amount of MBP transcripts hybridizing to this probe. Moreover the shiverer mutant mice lost several restriction fragments that hybridized to the same probe in the control mice when each of the five restriction enzymes, i.e., HindIII, PstI, PvuII, AccI, and StuI, was used. These data suggest that the shiverer mutation may correspond to the deletion of a large portion of MBP exon(s) in the gene, and this deletion causes inefficient transcription leading to the depletion of MBPs in the myelin and the dysmyelination observed in these mice.