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Mouse mutants have a key role in discerning mammalian gene function and modelling human disease; however, at present mutants exist for only 1-2% of all mouse genes. In order to address this phenotype gap, we have embarked on a genome-wide, phenotype-driven, large-scale N-ethyl-N--nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis screen for dominant mutations of clinical and pharmacological interest in the mouse. Here we describe the identification of two similar neurological phenotypes and determination of the underlying mutations using a novel rapid mapping strategy incorporating speed back-crosses and high throughput genotyping. Two mutant mice were identified with marked resting tremor and further characterized using the SHIRPA behavioural and functional assessment protocol. Back-cross animals were generated using in vitro fertilization and genome scans performed utilizing DNA pools derived from multiple mutant mice. Both mutants were mapped to a region on chromosome 11 containing the peripheral myelin protein 22 gene (Pmp22). Sequence analysis revealed novel point mutations in Pmp22 in both lines. The first mutation, H12R, alters the same amino acid as in the severe human peripheral neuropathy Dejerine Sottas syndrome and Y153TER in the other mutant truncates the Pmp22 protein by seven amino acids. Histological analysis of both lines revealed hypo-myelination of peripheral nerves. This is the first report of the generation of a clinically relevant neurological mutant and its rapid genetic characterization from a large-scale mutagenesis screen for dominant phenotypes in the mouse, and validates the use of large-scale screens to generate desired clinical phenotypes in mice.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





1865 - 1871


Animals, Chromosome Mapping, Female, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C3H, Mice, Mutant Strains, Mutagenesis, Myelin Proteins, Myelin Sheath, Phenotype, Time Factors