Characterization and Expression of the Mx1 Gene in Wild Mouse Species

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The mouse Mx1 gene encodes an interferon (IFN)-inducible nuclear protein and confers resistance to influenza virus infection. The standard laboratory mouse strains all carry the Mx1 allele and are susceptible to influenza virus. In this study, several mouse strains established from wild mice were tested to determine their Mx1+ or Mx1 allele status with polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length variation (PCR-RFLV), sequence analysis, reverse transcription (RT)-dimmunofluorescence staining. All of the mouse strains originating from wild mice were found uniformly to carry the Mx1+ allele. Therefore, it is conceivable that the Mx1+ allele in wild populations serves a function against some pathogens related to orthomyxoviruses. The PCR-RFLV and sequence analysis allowed us to classify the Mx1+ alleles of the laboratory and wild-origin mouse strains into distinct classes. RT-PCR and immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that the Mx1 transcripts and proteins were induced by IFN-α/β in macrophages from wild mouse species.

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