Mammalian Genome

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 26–31 | Cite as

Characterization of the ETnII-α endogenous retroviral element in the BALB/cJ Zhx2 Afr1 allele

  • Sudhir Perincheri
  • David K. Peyton
  • Michelle Glenn
  • Martha L. Peterson
  • Brett T. SpearEmail author


Integration of mouse endogenous retroviral (MERV) elements is responsible for an estimated 10% of spontaneous mutations that have been characterized in the laboratory mouse. We recently identified a MERV integration in the first intron of the Zinc fingers and homeoboxes 2 (Zhx2) gene in BALB/cJ mice, resulting in reduced Zhx2 expression. This integration is found in BALB/cJ but not in other BALB/c substrains, indicating that it occurred after these substrains separated in the late 1930s. We have characterized this MERV element and show here that it belongs to the ETnII-α class of elements. Our analysis reveals that the Zhx2 ETn element lacks a 69-bp sequence compared to most other ETn elements which may be due to recombination between two identical 13-bp elements. Three mature Zhx2 transcripts are found in the liver of BALB/cJ mice. The major transcript is spliced from Zhx2 exon 1 to the 5′ ETn LTR and is polyadenylated at the 3′ LTR. Of the two less abundant transcripts, one is identical to the wild-type transcript, whereas the second contains 183 bp of ETn sequence spliced between Zhx2 exons 1 and 2. We have also sequenced and analyzed products from the fas lpr ETn found in MRL/lpr mice and show that it belongs to the ETnII-β class of elements.


Long Terminal Repeat Splice Acceptor Site Chimeric Transcript Mouse Genome Database Long Terminal Repeat Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Public Health Service Grant DK59866 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sudhir Perincheri
    • 1
    • 5
  • David K. Peyton
    • 2
  • Michelle Glenn
    • 1
  • Martha L. Peterson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Brett T. Spear
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyImmunology and Molecular Genetics, University of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological and Environmental SciencesMorehead State UniversityMoreheadUSA
  3. 3.Markey Cancer CenterUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, 210 Combs BuildingMarkey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Genetics and DevelopmentColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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