Genetic Variation in Catecholamine Responsive Metabolic Pathways — A Hypothesis for a Common Regulatory Mechanism in BALB/c Sublines

  • L. P. Kozak
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 122)


After completing an evaluation of the amino acid substitutions fixed in the albumin protein during the evolution of frogs and mammals, Allan Wilson and colleagues (1974) speculated that evolution at the level of the organism depends primarily on changes in regulatory genes rather than changes in structural genes, an idea that was postulated earlier by Britten and Davidson (1969). Over the past 10 years several genetic differences in enzyme levels which appear regulatory in nature have been observed among the sublines of the BALB/c strain of mouse. Generally, BALB/cJ varies from the other sublines, suggesting that during the 48 years since these sublines were separated, mutations occurred in genes which control the quantitative variations, or there was residual heterozygosity at the time of the separation, or both. At present there is only one reported potentially structural gene variation among the BALB/c sublines, a deletion which may cover part of the regulatory or coding region of the Qa-2 gene (Flaherty et al. 1985). Although this deletion can satisfactorily define mouse strains which are Qa-2 + or Qa-2 , it is unclear how the deletion to the Qa-2 gene could explain many of the other variations. It would appear, therefore, that investigation of the quantitative differences among the BALB/c sublines offers an opportunity to identify variant regulatory genes with pleiotropic effects.


Brown Adipose Tissue Alpha Fetoprotein Variant Regulatory Gene Mitochondrial Uncouple Protein Murine Major Histocompatibility Complex 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

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  • L. P. Kozak

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