From our stock of SDRs (Sprague-Dawley rats), we established a mutant strain having small opaque eyes and named it HiSER (Hirosaki small-eye rat). TheHiSER phenotype is progressive and autosomal recessive. In HiSER eyes, disruption and involution of the lens, thickening of the inner nuclear layer, detachment and aggregation of the retina, rudimentary muscle in the ciliary body and cell infiltration in the vitreous humour were observed. Genetic linkage analysis using crossing with Brown Norway rat suggested that the causative gene(s) is located on chromosome 10. Microarray analysis showed that the expression level of the Cryba1 gene encoding βA3/A1-crystallin on chromosome 10 was markedly decreased in HiSER eyes. Genomic PCR revealed deletion of a 3.6-kb DNA region encompassing exons 4-6 of the gene in HiSERs. In HiSER eyes, a chimaeric transcript of the gene containing exons 1-3 and an approximately 250-bp sequence originating from the 3'-UTR of the Nufip2 gene, located downstream of the breakpoint in the opposite direction, was present. Whereas the chimaeric transcriptwas expressed in HiSER eyes, neither normal nor chimaeric βA3/A1-crystallin proteins were detected by Western blot analysis. Real-time RT (reverse transcription)-PCR analysis revealed that expression level of the Nufip2 gene in the HiSER eye was 40% of that in the SDR eye. These results suggest that the disappearance of the βA3/A1-crystallin protein and, in addition, down-regulation of the Nufip2 gene as a consequence of gene rearrangement causes the HiSER phenotype.
ASJC Scopus subject areas