Publications by authors named "Michelle Curtain"

7 Publications

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Discovery and characterization of spontaneous mouse models of craniofacial dysmorphology.

Dev Biol 2016 07 31;415(2):216-227. Epub 2015 Jul 31.

The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA. Electronic address:

Craniofacial abnormalities are among the most common features of human genetic syndromes and disorders. The etiology of these conditions is often complex, influenced by both genetic context and the environment. Frequently, craniofacial abnormalities present as part of a syndrome with clear comorbid phenotypes, providing additional insight into mechanisms of the causative gene or pathway. The mouse has been a key tool in our understanding of the genetic mechanisms of craniofacial development and disease, and can provide excellent models for human craniofacial abnormalities. While powerful genetic engineering tools in the mouse have contributed significantly our understanding of craniofacial development and dysmorphology, forward genetic approaches provide an unbiased means to identify new genes and pathways. Moreover, spontaneous mutations can occur on any number of genetic backgrounds, potentially revealing critical genes that require a specific genetic context. Here we report discovery and phenotyping of 43 craniofacial mouse models, derived primarily from a screen for spontaneous mutations in production colonies at the Jackson Laboratory. We identify the causative gene for 33 lines, including novel genes in pathways not previously connected to craniofacial development, and novel alleles of known genes that present with unique phenotypes. Together with our detailed characterization, this work provides a valuable gene discovery resource for the craniofacial community, and a rich source of mouse models for further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2015.07.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4733616PMC
July 2016

Exome sequencing reveals pathogenic mutations in 91 strains of mice with Mendelian disorders.

Genome Res 2015 Jul 27;25(7):948-57. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609, USA;

Spontaneously arising mouse mutations have served as the foundation for understanding gene function for more than 100 years. We have used exome sequencing in an effort to identify the causative mutations for 172 distinct, spontaneously arising mouse models of Mendelian disorders, including a broad range of clinically relevant phenotypes. To analyze the resulting data, we developed an analytics pipeline that is optimized for mouse exome data and a variation database that allows for reproducible, user-defined data mining as well as nomination of mutation candidates through knowledge-based integration of sample and variant data. Using these new tools, putative pathogenic mutations were identified for 91 (53%) of the strains in our study. Despite the increased power offered by potentially unlimited pedigrees and controlled breeding, about half of our exome cases remained unsolved. Using a combination of manual analyses of exome alignments and whole-genome sequencing, we provide evidence that a large fraction of unsolved exome cases have underlying structural mutations. This result directly informs efforts to investigate the similar proportion of apparently Mendelian human phenotypes that are recalcitrant to exome sequencing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.186882.114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484392PMC
July 2015

A novel allele of Alx4 results in reduced Fgf10 expression and failure of eyelid fusion in mice.

Mamm Genome 2015 Apr 12;26(3-4):173-80. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main St., Bar Harbor, ME, 04609, USA.

Normal fusion of developing eyelids requires coordination of inductive signals from the eyelid mesenchyme with migration of the periderm cell layer and constriction of the eyelids across the eye. Failure of this process results in an eyelids open at birth (EOB) phenotype in mice. We have identified a novel spontaneous allele of Alx4 that displays EOB, in addition to polydactyly and cranial malformations. Alx4 is expressed in the eyelid mesenchyme prior to and during eyelid fusion in a domain overlapping the expression of genes that also play a role in normal eyelid development. We show that Alx4 mutant mice have reduced expression of Fgf10, a key factor expressed in the mesenchyme that is required for initiation of eyelid fusion by the periderm. This is accompanied by a reduced number of periderm cells expressing phosphorylated c-Jun, consistent with the incomplete ablation of Fgf10 expression. Together, these data demonstrate that eyelid fusion in mice requires the expression of Alx4, accompanied by the loss of normal expression of essential components of the eyelid fusion pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-015-9557-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482110PMC
April 2015

Mutation discovery in mice by whole exome sequencing.

Genome Biol 2011 Sep 14;12(9):R86. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.

We report the development and optimization of reagents for in-solution, hybridization-based capture of the mouse exome. By validating this approach in a multiple inbred strains and in novel mutant strains, we show that whole exome sequencing is a robust approach for discovery of putative mutations, irrespective of strain background. We found strong candidate mutations for the majority of mutant exomes sequenced, including new models of orofacial clefting, urogenital dysmorphology, kyphosis and autoimmune hepatitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2011-12-9-r86DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308049PMC
September 2011

Mitotic defects lead to pervasive aneuploidy and accompany loss of RB1 activity in mouse LmnaDhe dermal fibroblasts.

PLoS One 2011 Mar 25;6(3):e18065. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, United States of America.

Background: Lamin A (LMNA) is a component of the nuclear lamina and is mutated in several human diseases, including Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD; OMIM ID# 181350) and the premature aging syndrome Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS; OMIM ID# 176670). Cells from progeria patients exhibit cell cycle defects in both interphase and mitosis. Mouse models with loss of LMNA function have reduced Retinoblastoma protein (RB1) activity, leading to aberrant cell cycle control in interphase, but how mitosis is affected by LMNA is not well understood.

Results: We examined the cell cycle and structural phenotypes of cells from mice with the Lmna allele, Disheveled hair and ears (Lmna(Dhe)). We found that dermal fibroblasts from heterozygous Lmna(Dhe) (Lmna(Dhe/+)) mice exhibit many phenotypes of human laminopathy cells. These include severe perturbations to the nuclear shape and lamina, increased DNA damage, and slow growth rates due to mitotic delay. Interestingly, Lmna(Dhe/+) fibroblasts also had reduced levels of hypophosphorylated RB1 and the non-SMC condensin II-subunit D3 (NCAP-D3), a mitosis specific centromere condensin subunit that depends on RB1 activity. Mitotic check point control by mitotic arrest deficient-like 1 (MAD2L1) also was perturbed in Lmna(Dhe/+) cells. Lmna(Dhe/+) fibroblasts were consistently aneuploid and had higher levels of micronuclei and anaphase bridges than normal fibroblasts, consistent with chromosome segregation defects.

Conclusions: These data indicate that RB1 may be a key regulator of cellular phenotype in laminopathy-related cells, and suggest that the effects of LMNA on RB1 include both interphase and mitotic cell cycle control.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0018065PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3064591PMC
March 2011

Disheveled hair and ear (Dhe), a spontaneous mouse Lmna mutation modeling human laminopathies.

PLoS One 2010 Apr 1;5(4):e9959. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Background: Investigations of naturally-occurring mutations in animal models provide important insights and valuable disease models. Lamins A and C, along with lamin B, are type V intermediate filament proteins which constitute the proteinaceous boundary of the nucleus. LMNA mutations in humans cause a wide range of phenotypes, collectively termed laminopathies. To identify the mutation and investigate the phenotype of a spontaneous, semi-dominant mutation that we have named Disheveled hair and ear (Dhe), which causes a sparse coat and small external ears in heterozygotes and lethality in homozygotes by postnatal day 10.

Findings: Genetic mapping identified a point mutation in the Lmna gene, causing a single amino acid change, L52R, in the coiled coil rod domain of lamin A and C proteins. Cranial sutures in Dhe/+ mice failed to close. Gene expression for collagen types I and III in sutures was deficient. Skulls were small and disproportionate. Skeletons of Dhe/+ mice were hypomineralized and total body fat was deficient in males. In homozygotes, skin and oral mucosae were dysplastic and ulcerated. Nuclear morphometry of cultured cells revealed gene dose-dependent blebbing and wrinkling.

Conclusion: Dhe mice should provide a useful new model for investigations of the pathogenesis of laminopathies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0009959PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2848607PMC
April 2010

In collaboration: the Jackson Laboratory Craniofacial Resource.

Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr 2003 ;13(2-4):107-8

The Jackson Laboratory Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.

Dr. Sandy C. Marks, Jr., has been a longtime collaborator of the Mouse Mutant Resource at The Jackson Laboratory and, most recently, was involved in the development of a Craniofacial Resource at TJL. The goals of this resource are to discover and supply to the scientific community mouse models of human craniofacial disease. A brief description of this collaboration is presented in Sandy's honor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/critreveukaryotgeneexpr.v13.i24.40DOI Listing
July 2004