The Tyr (albino) locus of the laboratory mouse

Mamm Genome. 2004 Oct;15(10):749-58. doi: 10.1007/s00335-004-4002-8.

Abstract

The albino mouse was already known in ancient times and was apparently selectively bred in Egypt, China, and Japan. Thus, it is not surprising that the c or albino locus (now the Tyr locus) was among the first used to demonstrate Mendelian inheritance in mammals at the dawn of the past century. This locus is now known to encode tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of melanin pigment, and the molecular basis of the albino ( Tyr(c)) mutation is known. Here we describe the congenic series of Tyr-locus alleles, from wild type to null ( albino). We compare eye and skin pigmentation phenotypes and the genetic lesions that cause each. We suggest that this panel of congenic mutants contains rich, untapped resources for the study of many questions of basic cell biological interest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Albinism / genetics*
  • Alleles*
  • Animals
  • Melanins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics*

Substances

  • Melanins
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase