BALB/c-congenic ANP32B-deficient mice reveal a modifying locus that determines viability

Exp Anim. 2016;65(1):53-62. doi: 10.1538/expanim.15-0062. Epub 2015 Nov 10.


We previously found that deletion of the multifunctional factor ANP32B (a.k.a. SSP29, APRIL, PAL31, PHAPI2) resulted in a severe but strain-specific defect resulting in perinatal lethality. The difficulty in generating an adult cohort of ANP32B-deficient animals limited our ability to examine adult phenotypes, particularly cancer-related phenotypes. We bred the Anp32b-null allele into the BALB/c and FVB/N genetic background. The BALB/c, but not the FVB/N, background provided sufficient frequency of adult Anp32b-null (Anp32b(-/-)) animals. From these, we found no apparent oncogenic role for this protein in mammary tumorigenesis contrary to what was predicted based on human data. We also found runtism, pathologies in various organ systems, and an unusual clinical chemistry signature in the adult Anp32b(-/-) mice. Intriguingly, genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis suggested that our colony retained an unlinked C57BL/6J locus at high frequency. Breeding this locus to homozygosity demonstrated that it had a strong effect on Anp32b(-/-) viability indicating that this locus contains a modifier gene of Anp32b with respect to development. This suggests a functionally important genetic interaction with one of a limited number of candidate genes, foremost among them being the variant histone gene H2afv. Using congenic breeding strategies, we have generated a viable ANP32B-deficient animal in a mostly pure background. We have used this animal to reliably exclude mouse ANP32B as an important oncogene in mammary tumorigenesis. Our further phenotyping strengthens the evidence that ANP32B is a widespread regulator of gene expression. These studies may also impact the choice of subsequent groups with respect to congenic breeding versus de novo zygote targeting strategies for background analyses in mouse genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Animals, Congenic
  • Breeding
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / deficiency
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Genes, Modifier / genetics
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Histones / genetics
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal / genetics
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C / genetics*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / deficiency
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / deficiency
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide


  • Anp32b protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Histones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins