Mice with a null mutation of the TGF alpha gene have abnormal skin architecture, wavy hair, and curly whiskers and often develop corneal inflammation

Cell. 1993 Apr 23;73(2):249-61. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(93)90227-h.


Mice homozygous for a disrupted transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha) gene are healthy and fertile, although some older mice show evidence of corneal inflammation. In contrast with TGF alpha +/- and +/+ animals, TGF alpha -/- mice have a pronounced waviness of the coat. Histological examination of the skin from TGF alpha -/- mice reveals a dramatic derangement of hair follicles. Mice with a disrupted TGF alpha gene also have curly whiskers, first evident on the day of birth. The phenotype of TGF alpha -/- mice is remarkably similar to that of the mouse mutant waved-1 (wa-1). Offspring resulting from crosses between TGF alpha -/- and wa-1 mice display the curly whisker-coat phenotype, indicating that the basis of the wa-1 phenotype is a mutation in the TGF alpha gene. These observations suggest that TGF alpha plays a pivotal role in determining skin architecture and in regulating hair development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chimera
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Eye Abnormalities / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Hair / ultrastructure*
  • Keratitis / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Mutation
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Skin / ultrastructure*
  • Skin Diseases / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / physiology*
  • Vibrissae / ultrastructure
  • Wound Healing


  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • Epidermal Growth Factor