Journal Article

Androgen Receptor YAC Transgenic Mice Carrying CAG 45 Alleles Show Trinucleotide Repeat Instability

A. R. La Spada, K. R. Peterson, S. A. Meadows, M. E. McClain, G. Jeng, R. S. Chmelar, H. A. Haugen, K. Chen, M. J. Singer, D. Moore, B. J. Trask, K. H. Fischbeck, C. H. Clegg and G. S. McKnight

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 7, issue 6, pages 959-967
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Androgen Receptor YAC Transgenic Mice Carrying CAG 45 Alleles Show Trinucleotide Repeat Instability

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X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Disease-associated alleles (37–66 CAGs) change in length when transmitted from parents to offspring, with a significantly greater tendency to shift size when inherited paternally. As transgenic mice carrying human AR cDNAs with 45 and 66 CAG repeats do not display repeat instability, we attempted to model trinucleotide repeat instability by generating transgenic mice with yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) carrying AR CAG repeat expansions in their genomic context. Studies of independent lines of AR YAC transgenic mice with CAG 45 alleles reveal intergenerational instability at an overall rate of ∼ 10%. We also find that the 45 CAG repeat tracts are significantly more unstable with maternal transmission and as the transmitting mother ages. Of all the CAG/CTG repeat transgenic mice produced to date the AR YAC CAG 45 mice are unstable with the smallest trinucleotide repeat mutations, suggesting that the length threshold for repeat instability in the mouse may be lowered by including the appropriate flanking human DNA sequences. By sequence-tagged site content analysis and long range mapping we determined that one unstable transgenic line has integrated an ∼70 kb segment of the AR locus due to fragmentation of the AR YAC. Identification of the cis-acting elements that permit CAG tract instability and the trans-acting factors that modulate repeat instability in the AR YAC CAG 45 mice may provide insights into the molecular basis of trinucleotide repeat instability in humans.

Journal Article.  8145 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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