Position-effect variegation of transgene expression is sensitive to the chromatin state. We previously reported a forward genetic screen in mice carrying a variegated α-globin GFP transgene to find novel genes encoding epigenetic regulators. We named the phenovariant strains ". Mommes" for modifiers of murine metastable epiallele. s. Here we report positional cloning of mutations in two Momme strains which result in suppression of variegation. Both strains harbour point mutations in the erythroid transcription factor, Klf1. One (D11) generates a stop codon in the zinc finger domain and a homozygous null phenotype. The other (D45) generates an amino acid transversion (H350R) within a conserved linker between zinc fingers two and three. Homozygous MommeD45 mice have chronic microcytic anaemia which models the phenotype in a recently described family. This is the first genetic evidence that the linkers between the zinc fingers of transcription factors have a function beyond that of a simple spacer.
- ENU mutagenesis
- Position effect variegation
- Transcriptional regulation
- Zinc-finger transcription factor