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A serotonin transporter gene intron 2 polymorphic region, correlated with affective disorders, has allele-dependent differential enhancer-like properties in the mouse embryo

  • Alasdair MacKenzie
  • John Quinn
The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Dec 21, 1999
  • Biology


Polymorphic regions consisting of a variable number of tandem repeats within intron 2 of the gene coding for the serotonin transporter protein 5-HTT have been associated with susceptibility to affective disorders. We have cloned two of these intronic polymorphisms, Stin2.10 and Stin2.12, into an expression vector containing a heterologous minimal promoter and the bacterial LacZ reporter gene. These constructs were then used to produce transgenic mice. In embryonic day 10.5 embryos, both Stin2.10 and Stin2.12 produced consistent β-galactosidase expression in the embryonic midbrain, hindbrain, and spinal cord floor plate. However, we observed that the levels of β-galactosidase expression produced by both the Stin2.10 and Stin2.12 within the rostral hindbrain differed significantly at embryonic day 10.5. Our data suggest that these polymorphic variable number of tandem repeats regions act as transcriptional regulators and have allele-dependent differential enhancer-like properties within an area of the hindbrain where the 5-HTT gene is known to be transcribed at this stage of development.

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