Structure, expression, and chromosome location of the gene for the β subunit of brain-specific Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II identified by transgene integration in an embryonic lethal mouse mutant

U. Karls, U. Muller, D. J. Gilbert, N. G. Copeland, N. A. Jenkins, K. Harbers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

The transgenic mouse strain CAT40 carries in its germ line one copy of a DNA construct consisting of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene and the immunoglobulin heavy-chain enhancer. We show that transgene integration has resulted in a recessive lethal mutation that leads to death of homozygous CAT40 embryos shortly after implantation. The transgene has integrated adjacent to the 3′ end of the gene coding for the β subunit of the brain-specific Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (Camk-2). The complete cDNA sequence of the Camk-2 gene and most of its exon/intron structure was determined. The deduced amino acid sequence is highly homologous to the previously described rat protein. The chromosomal location of the Camk-2 locus was mapped by interspecific backcross analysis to the proximal region of mouse chromosome 11. This region lacks previously identified recessive embryonic lethal mutations. During embryonic development, Camk-2-specitic transcripts are first seen in the head section of 12.5-day-old embryos, and in adult mice the gene is expressed almost exclusively in the brain. Although transcription of the Camk-2 gene in heterozygous CAT40 mice is affected by transgene integration, it is unlikely that this gene is responsible for the mutant phenotype, since it is not expressed in blastocysts and the first transcripts during normal development are detected after the death of homozygous CAT40 embryos. Transgene integration is accompanied by a large deletion of cellular DNA; death is therefore most likely caused by the loss of a gene or genes that are important for early postimplantation development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3644-3652
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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