Trapping Cardiac Recessive Mutants via Expression-based Insertional Mutagenesis Screening
Rationale: Mutagenesis screening is a powerful genetic tool for probing biological mechanisms underlying vertebrate development and human diseases. However, the increased colony management efforts in vertebrates impose a significant challenge for identifying genes affecting a particular organ such as the heart, especially those exhibiting adult phenotypes upon depletion.
Objective: We aim to develop a facile approach that streamlines colony management efforts via enriching cardiac mutants, which enables us to screen for adult phenotypes.
Methods and Results: The transparency of the zebrafish embryos enabled us to score 67 stable transgenic lines generated from an insertional mutagenesis screen using a transposon-based protein trapping vector. Fifteen lines with cardiac monomeric red fluorescent protein (mRFP) reporter expression were identified. We defined the molecular nature for 10 lines and bred them to homozygosity, which led to the identification of one embryonic lethal, one larval lethal, and one adult recessive mutant exhibiting cardiac hypertrophy at one year of age. Further characterization of these mutants uncovered an essential function of methionine adenosyltransferase II, alpha a (mat2aa), in cardiogenesis, an essential function of mitochondrial ribosomal protein S18B (mrps18b) in cardiac mitochondrial homeostasis, as well as a function of DnaJ (Hsp40) homolog, subfamily B, member 6b (dnajb6b) in adult cardiac hypertrophy.
Conclusions: We demonstrate that transposon-based gene trapping is an efficient approach for identifying both embryonic and adult recessive mutants with cardiac expression. The generation of a Zebrafish Insertional Cardiac (ZIC) mutant collection shall facilitate the annotation of a vertebrate cardiac genome, as well as enable heart-based adult screens.
- Gene trapping
- Insertional mutagenesis screen
- Cardiac mutants
- Adult recessive
- genetics, animal models
- genetic heart disease
- Received November 24, 2012.
- Revision received December 20, 2012.
- Accepted January 2, 2013.
- Copyright © 2013, Circulation Research