Genetic dissection of a behavioral quantitative trait locus shows that Rgs2 modulates anxiety in mice

Nat Genet. 2004 Nov;36(11):1197-202. doi: 10.1038/ng1450. Epub 2004 Oct 17.


Here we present a strategy to determine the genetic basis of variance in complex phenotypes that arise from natural, as opposed to induced, genetic variation in mice. We show that a commercially available strain of outbred mice, MF1, can be treated as an ultrafine mosaic of standard inbred strains and accordingly used to dissect a known quantitative trait locus influencing anxiety. We also show that this locus can be subdivided into three regions, one of which contains Rgs2, which encodes a regulator of G protein signaling. We then use quantitative complementation to show that Rgs2 is a quantitative trait gene. This combined genetic and functional approach should be applicable to the analysis of any quantitative trait.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Outbred Strains
  • Anxiety / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Mosaicism
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*
  • RGS Proteins / genetics
  • RGS Proteins / physiology*


  • RGS Proteins
  • Rgs2 protein, mouse