, Volume 20, Issue 5-6, pp 493-504

Sex-limited genetic variation in a mouse salivary protein

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This report describes a gene which influences the electrophoretic mobility of a protein in the salivas of adult mice. Three categories of phenotype have been observed: the two single-banded types, F (Fast) and S (Slow), and the two-banded type, SF (Slow-Fast), with the two bands represented in varying proportions. All females, regardless of age or strain, and all males before puberty show only the F phenotype. Males of the BALB/c and C57BL/6J strains show the F phenotype throughout puberty and adult life, whereas males of the C3H/St and C57BL/KsJ strains show the SF phenotype in puberty and the S phenotype in adult life. We have designated this variation the sex-limited saliva pattern (Ssp). The results from genetic crosses indicate that the variation among the strains is determined by an autosomal locus, Ssp, with two alleles, Ssp S andSsp F ,where Ssp S is dominant to Ssp F .Testosterone treatment can accelerate the acquisition of the S type in males of the strains C3H/St and C57BL/KsJ and also induces that phenotype in C3H/St females and C57BL/6J males. Thus it appears that the observed strain-specific differences reflect a genetic variation in androgen levels and/or androgen sensitivity rather than variation in a structural gene.

This study was supported in part by PHS Research Grant 5 RO1 AM21177 and by the Indiana University Human Genetics Center (PHS PO1 GM21054). The preliminary work was done during a 1-month visit by RCK to the Institute of Ecology and Genetics which was supported by the University of Aarhus. This is publication No. 80-18 from the Department of Medical Genetics. RCK was supported by PHS Career Development Award 1 KO4 AM00284. SRD was supported by PHS General Medical Training Grant T32 GM07468.