Transgenic mice (JCP0 #18), heterozygous for an insertion of approximately 50 copies of the rat peripheral myelin (P0) protein cDNA, displayed a pattern of reduced litter size that suggested a chromosome rearrangement. Chromosome banding studies of fetal cells disclosed the presence of an apparently balanced translocation between a Chromosome (Chr) 1 and 14 with breakpoints at bands 1H3 and 14C3. In situ hybridization of biotin-labeled P0 rat cDNA probe to chromosome spreads and detection of specific signal with fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated avidin revealed a strong signal on the 114 translocation chromosome at the site of the breakpoint. A weaker signal was present near the breakpoint on the 141 derivative chromosome. These results suggest an etiologic relationship between the insertion of the transgene and the origin of the translocation. To further elucidate possible mechanisms, we first mapped the endogenous P0 gene (gene symbol Mpp). As previously reported (You et al., Genomics 9: 751, 1991), we found that Mpp is located on Chr 1 in the region of the translocation breakpoint in JCP0 mice. Subsequently, we have carried out pulsed-field gel and standard Southern analyses with P0 gene probes, but found no evidence for a direct involvement of the endogenous P0 gene in the process that generated the balanced reciprocal translocation. Thus, we favor the hypothesis that, during repair of DNA strand breakage-possibly induced by the microinjection procedure-the transgene copies were ligated to broken ends of Chrs 1 and 14. According to convention, this translocation is designated T(1;14) 1Po. Homozygotes are phenotypically normal and breed well; they will be useful for genetic and physical mapping of Chrs 1 and 14.
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