Author(s): Mansour SL, Goddard JM, Capecchi MR
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Abstract We derived mice that carry a targeted insertion of a neor gene in the int-2 (Fgf-3) proto-oncogene coding sequences. The mutation was found to be recessive and mice that were homozygous for the insertion did not often survive to adulthood. The mutant mice had defects in the development of the tail and inner ear that could be correlated with disruption of int-2 expression in the posterior primitive streak and hindbrain or otic vesicle. While the tail phenotype was 100\% penetrant, we found that the inner ear phenotype had reduced penetrance and variable expressivity. The variable expressivity could not be attributed to variability in the genetic background of the mutant allele or to leaky expression from the mutant allele. Thus, we conclude that even in a uniform genetic background, stochastic variation in the expression of a developmental circuit can result in dramatic differences in phenotypic consequences.
This article was published in Development
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research