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      Large-Scale Albuminuria Screen for Nephropathy Models in Chemically Induced Mouse Mutants

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          Background/Aim: Phenotype-driven screening of a great pool of randomly mutant mice and subsequent selection of animals showing symptoms equivalent to human kidney diseases may result in the generation of novel suitable models for the study of the pathomechanisms and the identification of genes involved in kidney dysfunction. Methods: We carried out a large-scale analysis of ethylnitrosourea (ENU)-induced mouse mutants for albuminuria by using qualitative SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Results: The primary albuminuria screen preceded the comprehensive phenotypic mutation analysis in a part of the mice of the Munich ENU project to avoid loss of mutant animals as a consequence of prolonged suffering from severe nephropathy. The primary screen detected six confirmed phenotypic variants in 2,011 G1 animals screened for dominant mutations and no variant in 48 G3 pedigrees screened for recessive mutations. Further breeding experiments resulted in two lines showing a low phenotypic penetrance of albuminuria. The secondary albuminuria screen was carried out in mutant lines which were established in the Munich ENU project without preceding primary albuminuria analysis. Two lines showing increased plasma urea levels were chosen to clarify if severe kidney lesions are involved in the abnormal phenotype. This analysis revealed severe albuminuria in mice which are affected by a recessive mutation leading to increased plasma urea and cholesterol levels. Conclusion: Thus, the phenotypic selection of ENU-induced mutants according to the parameter proteinuria in principle demonstrates the feasibility to identify nephropathy phenotypes in ENU-mutagenized mice.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Genome-wide, large-scale production of mutant mice by ENU mutagenesis.

          In the post-genome era, the mouse will have a major role as a model system for functional genome analysis. This requires a large number of mutants similar to the collections available from other model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we report on a systematic, genome-wide, mutagenesis screen in mice. As part of the German Human Genome Project, we have undertaken a large-scale ENU-mutagenesis screen for dominant mutations and a limited screen for recessive mutations. In screening over 14,000 mice for a large number of clinically relevant parameters, we recovered 182 mouse mutants for a variety of phenotypes. In addition, 247 variant mouse mutants are currently in genetic confirmation testing and will result in additional new mutant lines. This mutagenesis screen, along with the screen described in the accompanying paper, leads to a significant increase in the number of mouse models available to the scientific community. Our mutant lines are freely accessible to non-commercial users (for information, see
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            A mouse phenome project.

            A community-wide effort to establish baseline phenotypic data on commonly used and genetically diverse inbred mouse strains and to provide the information through a publicly accessible database.
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              The mouse Kreisler (Krml1/MafB) segmentation gene is required for differentiation of glomerular visceral epithelial cells.

              Molecular components of the glomerular filtration mechanism play critical roles in renal diseases. Many of these components are produced during the final stages of differentiation of glomerular visceral epithelial cells, also known as podocytes. While basic domain leucine zipper (bZip) transcription factors of the Maf subfamily have been implicated in cellular differentiation processes, Kreisler (Krml1/MafB), the gene affected in the mouse kreisler (kr) mutation, is known for its role in hindbrain patterning. Here we show that mice homozygous for the kr(enu) mutation develop renal disease and that Kreisler is essential for cellular differentiation of podocytes. Consistent with abnormal podocyte differentiation, kr(enu) homozygotes show proteinuria, and fusion and effacement of podocyte foot processes, which are also observed in the nephrotic syndrome. Kreisler acts during the final stages of glomerular development-the transition between the capillary loop and mature stages-and downstream of the Pod1 basic domain helix-loop-helix transcription factor. The levels of Podocin, the gene mutated in autosomal recessive steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (NPHS2), and Nephrin, the gene mutated in congenital nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type (NPHS1), are slightly reduced in kr(enu)/kr(enu) podocytes. However, these observations alone are unlikely to account for the aberrant podocyte foot process formation. Thus, Kreisler must regulate other unknown genes required for podocyte function and with possible roles in kidney disease.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                August 2005
                22 April 2005
                : 100
                : 4
                : e143-e149
                aInstitute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich; bInstitute of Experimental Genetics, GSF Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg, and cInstitute of Veterinary Pathology, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
                85292 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2005;100:e143–e149
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 2, References: 19, Pages: 1
                Self URI (application/pdf):
                Original Paper

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Proteinuria, Albumin, Ethylnitrosourea, Kidney lesions


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