FOEDRC members featured publication on Gene that Alters Behavior in Female Mice

Giving mice a gene mutation linked to eating disorders in people causes feeding and behavior abnormalities similar to symptoms often seen in patients with eating disorders. Only female mice are affected by the gene mutation, and some of the abnormalities they express depend on whether they are housed alone or with other mice. In 2013, researchers led by University of Iowa scientists Michael Lutter, MD, PhD, and Huxing Cui, PhD, identified two genes from two different families that are associated with an increased risk of developing an eating disorder. In the new study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, the team has developed a mouse model to investigate the behavioral effects of one of those gene mutations. The gene in question is called histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4). It is a transcriptional repressor, which means it turns off other genes. To create the new mouse model of this gene mutation, the researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to incorporate the human mutation in the mouse HDAC4 gene. Learn more at Iowa Now.

Date: 
Monday, December 5, 2016