Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Genomic DNA from twelve laboratory mouse strains, in addition to 21 wild-derived strains belonging to different taxa (Mus musculus domesticus, Mus musculus musculus, Mus spretus, Mus macedonicus, a and Mus spicilegus) and four mouse strains that are evolutionarily more distant, were analyzed by Southern blot for polymorphism of the Ig heavy chain constant region γ isotype (Igh-Cγ) and for the distribution of the duplicated Igh-1 (Cγ2α) haplotype. Distinct allelic forms of each Igh-C locus could be defined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). In laboratory mouse strains RFLP proved to be more sensitive in the detection of Igh-4 (Cγ1) alleles than serological methods. Taq I digestion allowed the definition of two alleles in the Igh-8 (Cγ3) locus, which is absolutely conserved at the protein levels. More extensive RFLP could be found in wild strains belonging to the subgenus Mus and in the evolutionarily more distant Mus species belonging to other subgenera. In previous studies we have shown that the Igh-1 locus is duplicated in M. m. musculus subspecies. We now extend this observations to the wild mouse strains belonging to M. spicilegus and M. macedonicus species and to the evolutionarily more distant wild mouse strain Mus pahari (subgenus coelomys), which is thought to have diverged from domestic mice about 5 million years ago. In addition, we found a similar RFLP pattern in ten of 18 wild mice trapped in India, suggesting that the haplotype containing the two Igh-1-like genes, organized in tandem as distinct isotypes, is widely spread in natural populations. The evolution of murine Igh-Cγ-encoded isotypes is also discussed.
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