Genetic Analysis of Alphafetoprotein Levels in BALB/c Sublines

  • E. P. Blankenhorn
  • J. S. Wax
  • R. Matthai
  • M. Potter
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 122)


Alphafetoprotein (AFP) is the major serum protein of fetal animals. It is closely related to albumin in structure (Ruoslahti and Terry 1976; Morinaga et al. 1983) and presumably in function. The regulation and expression of AFP have been the subject of investigation for several years. The gene encoding this glycoprotein is closely linked to the structural gene for albumin (Ingram et al. 1981), and the two genes share a close evolutionary history. AFP levels drop dramatically at birth, on the order of 105 fold in mice, and this decrease in protein levels is due to a deinduction of AFP mRNA (Belayew and Tilghman 1982). The adult serum level of AFP in mice is controlled by a gene designated Raf-1 (Olsson et al. 1977), which is unlinked to the structural locus found on chromosome 5 (Belayew and Tilghman 1982; Blankenhorn 1978). The phenotype associated with Raf-1 b, the allele carried by the BALB/cJ subline, is the persistence of AFP levels of 1 – 4 micrograms per milliliter in adult mouse serum, whereas the AFP levels in Raf-1 a mice drop to 50–400 nanograms/ml after 9 weeks of age. Raf-1 a is dominant over Raf-1 b, and it is Raf-1 a that is found in all other inbred strains of mice. It was our intention to explore the expression of Raf-1 in a variety of BALB/c sublines, and in the F2 generations of two crosses designed to demonstrate the chromosomal location of Raf-1.


Plasma Cell Tumor Fetal Animal Allotype Marker Major Serum Protein Mouse Drop 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. P. Blankenhorn
  • J. S. Wax
  • R. Matthai
  • M. Potter

There are no affiliations available

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