Project description:BACKGROUND: Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons make up a large fraction of the typical mammalian genome. They comprise about 8% of the human genome and approximately 10% of the mouse genome. On account of their abundance, LTR retrotransposons are believed to hold major significance for genome structure and function. Recent advances in genome sequencing of a variety of model organisms has provided an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate better the diversity of LTR retrotransposons resident in eukaryotic genomes. RESULTS: Using a new data-mining program, LTR_STRUC, in conjunction with conventional techniques, we have mined the GenBank mouse (Mus musculus) database and the more complete Ensembl mouse dataset for LTR retrotransposons. We report here that the M. musculus genome contains at least 21 separate families of LTR retrotransposons; 13 of these families are described here for the first time. CONCLUSIONS: All families of mouse LTR retrotransposons are members of the gypsy-like superfamily of retroviral-like elements. Several different families of unrelated non-autonomous elements were identified, suggesting that the evolution of non-autonomy may be a common event. High sequence similarity between several LTR retrotransposons identified in this study and those found in distantly-related species suggests that horizontal transfer has been a significant factor in the evolution of mouse LTR retrotransposons.
Project description:Copy number variation is an important dimension of genetic diversity and has implications in development and disease. As an important model organism, the mouse is a prime candidate for copy number variant (CNV) characterization, but this has yet to be completed for a large sample size. Here we report CNV analysis of publicly available, high-density microarray data files for 351 mouse tail samples, including 290 mice that had not been characterized for CNVs previously.We found 9634 putative autosomal CNVs across the samples affecting 6.87% of the mouse reference genome. We find significant differences in the degree of CNV uniqueness (single sample occurrence) and the nature of CNV-gene overlap between wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains. CNV-gene overlap was associated with lipid metabolism, pheromone response and olfaction compared to immunity, carbohydrate metabolism and amino-acid metabolism for wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains, respectively. Using two subspecies of wild-caught Mus musculus, we identified putative CNVs unique to those subspecies and show this diversity is better captured by wild-derived laboratory strains than by the classical laboratory strains. A total of 9 genic copy number variable regions (CNVRs) were selected for experimental confirmation by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR).The analysis we present is a comprehensive, genome-wide analysis of CNVs in Mus musculus, which increases the number of known variants in the species and will accelerate the identification of novel variants in future studies.
Project description:This experiment is one of a series of experiments on interspecific recombinant congenic strain (IRCS) mice that aimed to identify novel genes involved in male or female hyporfertility by comparing characteristics of the sperm, number of offspring, quality ofÂ implantation etc. in C57B6/J and IRCS mice. <br>The goal of this experiment was to understand the basis of female hypofertility/embryonicÂ resorption in a mouse model of congenic strains. The IRCS strain used in this experiment is the 66H Ch13 mouse. This strain was derived by introgression of a ~6 Mb fragment of mus spretus originÂ inside the genome of Mus musculus (C57B6/J) (L'hÃ´te etÂ al, Bioessays, 2010. PMID:20091755 ) Previous ultrasonographic analysis of this line revealed an increased rate of embryonic resorption compared to the C57B6/J parent (Laissue et al, Int. J . Dev. Biol, 2009 PMID: 19488966 ). <br>In this experiment we measured gene expression in the tissues that are relevant for implantation and early development, i.e. the uterus and the placenta, in C57B6/J and 66H Chr13 mice at 12 days post-coÃ¯tus with C57B6/J males. Pools of RNA from four mice per sample were obtained and analysed using a Nimblegen mouse expression array.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. They are involved in diverse biological processes, such as development, differentiation, cell proliferation and apoptosis. To study the role of miRNAs during pronephric kidney development of Xenopus, global miRNA biogenesis was eliminated by knockdown of two key components: Dicer and Dgcr8. These embryos developed a range of kidney defects, including edema formation, delayed renal epithelial differentiation and abnormal patterning. To identify a causative miRNA, mouse and frog kidneys were screened for putative candidates. Among these, the miR-30 family showed the most prominent kidney-restricted expression. Moreover, knockdown of miR-30a-5p phenocopied most of the pronephric defects observed upon global inhibition of miRNA biogenesis. Molecular analyses revealed that miR-30 regulates the LIM-class homeobox factor Xlim1/Lhx1, a major transcriptional regulator of kidney development. miR-30 targeted Xlim1/Lhx1 via two previously unrecognized binding sites in its 3'UTR and thereby restricted its activity. During kidney development, Xlim1/Lhx1 is required in the early stages, but is downregulated subsequently. However, in the absence of miR-30 activity, Xlim1/Lhx1 is maintained at high levels and, therefore, may contribute to the delayed terminal differentiation of the amphibian pronephros.
Project description:Several years after sequencing the human genome and the mouse genome, much remains to be discovered about the functions of most human and mouse genes. Computational prediction of gene function promises to help focus limited experimental resources on the most likely hypotheses. Several algorithms using diverse genomic data have been applied to this task in model organisms; however, the performance of such approaches in mammals has not yet been evaluated.In this study, a standardized collection of mouse functional genomic data was assembled; nine bioinformatics teams used this data set to independently train classifiers and generate predictions of function, as defined by Gene Ontology (GO) terms, for 21,603 mouse genes; and the best performing submissions were combined in a single set of predictions. We identified strengths and weaknesses of current functional genomic data sets and compared the performance of function prediction algorithms. This analysis inferred functions for 76% of mouse genes, including 5,000 currently uncharacterized genes. At a recall rate of 20%, a unified set of predictions averaged 41% precision, with 26% of GO terms achieving a precision better than 90%.We performed a systematic evaluation of diverse, independently developed computational approaches for predicting gene function from heterogeneous data sources in mammals. The results show that currently available data for mammals allows predictions with both breadth and accuracy. Importantly, many highly novel predictions emerge for the 38% of mouse genes that remain uncharacterized.
Project description:Here we report the expansion of the genetic code of Mus musculus with various unnatural amino acids including N?-acetyl-lysine. Stable integration of transgenes encoding an engineered N?-acetyl-lysyl-tRNA synthetase (AcKRS)/tRNAPyl pair into the mouse genome enables site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids into a target protein in response to the amber codon. We demonstrate temporal and spatial control of protein acetylation in various organs of the transgenic mouse using a recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFPuv) as a model protein. This strategy will provide a powerful tool for systematic in vivo study of cellular proteins in the most commonly used mammalian model organism for human physiology and disease.
Project description:The mammalian vomeronasal organ (VNO) expresses two G-protein coupled receptor gene families that mediate pheromone responses, the V1R and V2R receptor genes. In rodents, there are ~150 V1R genes comprising 12 subfamilies organized in gene clusters at multiple chromosomal locations. Previously, we showed that several of these subfamilies had been extensively modulated by gene duplications, deletions, and gene conversions around the time of the evolutionary split of the mouse and rat lineages, consistent with the hypothesis that V1R repertoires might be involved in reinforcing speciation events. Here, we generated genome sequence for one large cluster containing two V1R subfamilies in Mus spretus, a closely related and sympatric species to Mus musculus, and investigated evolutionary change in these repertoires along the two mouse lineages.We describe a comparison of spretus and musculus with respect to genome organization and synteny, as well as V1R gene content and phylogeny, with reference to previous observations made between mouse and rat. Unlike the mouse-rat comparisons, synteny seems to be largely conserved between the two mouse species. Disruption of local synteny is generally associated with differences in repeat content, although these differences appear to arise more from deletion than new integrations. Even though unambiguous V1R orthology is evident, we observe dynamic modulation of the functional repertoires, with two of seven V1Rb and one of eleven V1Ra genes lost in spretus, two V1Ra genes becoming pseudogenes in musculus, two additional orthologous pairs apparently subject to strong adaptive selection, and another divergent orthologous pair that apparently was subjected to gene conversion.Therefore, eight of the 18 (~44%) presumptive V1Ra/V1Rb genes in the musculus-spretus ancestor appear to have undergone functional modulation since these two species diverged. As compared to the rat-mouse split, where modulation is evident by independent expansions of these two V1R subfamilies, divergence between musculus and spretus has arisen more by mutations within coding sequences. These results support the hypothesis that adaptive changes in functional V1R repertoires contribute to the delineation of very closely related species.
Project description:Consomic (chromosome substitution) strains (CSs) represent the most recent addition to the mouse genetic resources aimed to genetically analyze complex trait loci (QTLs). In this study, we report the development of a set of 28 mouse intersubspecific CSs. In each CS, we replaced a single chromosome of the C57BL/6J (B6) inbred strain (mostly Mus m. domesticus) with its homolog from the PWD/Ph inbred strain of the Mus m. musculus subspecies. These two progenitor subspecies diverged less than 1 million years ago and accumulated a large number of genetic differences that constitute a rich resource of genetic variation for QTL analyses. Altogether, the 18 consomic, nine subconsomic, and one conplastic strain covered all 19 autosomes, X and Y sex chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA. Most CSs had significantly lower reproductive fitness compared with the progenitor strains. CSs homosomic for chromosomes 10 and 11, and the C57BL/6J-Chr X males, failed to reproduce and were substituted by less affected subconsomics carrying either a proximal, central, or distal part of the respective chromosome. A genome-wide scan of 965 DNA markers revealed 99.87% purity of the B6 genetic background. Thirty-three nonsynonymous substitutions were uncovered in the protein-coding regions of the mitochondrial DNA of the B6.PWD-mt conplastic strain. A pilot-phenotyping experiment project revealed a high number of variations among B6.PWD consomics.