Genome-wide, large-scale production of mutant mice by ENU mutagenesis

Nat Genet. 2000 Aug;25(4):444-7. doi: 10.1038/78146.


In the post-genome era, the mouse will have a major role as a model system for functional genome analysis. This requires a large number of mutants similar to the collections available from other model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we report on a systematic, genome-wide, mutagenesis screen in mice. As part of the German Human Genome Project, we have undertaken a large-scale ENU-mutagenesis screen for dominant mutations and a limited screen for recessive mutations. In screening over 14,000 mice for a large number of clinically relevant parameters, we recovered 182 mouse mutants for a variety of phenotypes. In addition, 247 variant mouse mutants are currently in genetic confirmation testing and will result in additional new mutant lines. This mutagenesis screen, along with the screen described in the accompanying paper, leads to a significant increase in the number of mouse models available to the scientific community. Our mutant lines are freely accessible to non-commercial users (for information, see

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Cryopreservation
  • Ethylnitrosourea / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Forelimb / abnormalities
  • Genome*
  • Immunity / genetics
  • Immunity / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mutagenesis
  • Mutagens / pharmacology*
  • Mutation / drug effects*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Mutation / immunology
  • Phenotype


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Mutagens
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ethylnitrosourea