Mutation in the gene encoding lysosomal acid phosphatase (Acp2) causes cerebellum and skin malformation in mouse


We report a novel spontaneous mutation named nax in mice, which exhibit delayed hair appearance and ataxia in a homozygote state. Histological analyses of nax brain revealed an overall impairment of the cerebellar cortex. The classical cortical cytoarchitecture was disrupted, the inner granule cell layer was not obvious, the Purkinje cells were not aligned as a Purkinje cell layer, and Bergmann glias did not span the molecular layer. Furthermore, histological analyses of skin showed that the hair follicles were also abnormal. We mapped the nax locus between marker D2Mit158 and D2Mit100 within a region of 800 kb in the middle of chromosome 2 and identified a missense mutation (Gly244Glu) in Acp2, a lysosomal monoesterase. The Glu244 mutation does not affect the stability of the Acp2 transcript, however it renders the enzyme inactive. Ultrastructural analysis of nax cerebellum showed lysosomal storage bodies in nucleated cells, suggesting progressive degeneration as the underlying mechanism. Identification of Acp2 as the gene mutated in nax mice provides a valuable model system for studying the role of Acp2 in cerebellum and skin homeostasis.

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This work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through the DFG-Research Center for Molecular Physiology of the Brain to W.E. and M.R. The authors would like to thank S. Zimmermann for operational help, M. Wahl for assistance with structural biology programs, and K. von Figura for useful discussions and helping us with Acp2 enzymatic assay. A. Eberwein, M. Moeschner, and M. Steckel for technical assistance, and our animal housekeepers for breeding and maintaining these mice.

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Correspondence to Wolfgang Engel.

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Mannan, A.U., Roussa, E., Kraus, C. et al. Mutation in the gene encoding lysosomal acid phosphatase (Acp2) causes cerebellum and skin malformation in mouse. Neurogenetics 5, 229–238 (2004).

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  • Mutant mouse strain
  • Genetic linkage
  • Cerebellum
  • Hair follicle
  • Lysosomal storage diseases