The survival motor neuron gene is present in humans in a telomeric copy, SMN1, and several centromeric copies, SMN2. Homozygous mutation of SMN1 is associated with proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a severe motor neuron disease characterized by early childhood onset of progressive muscle weakness. To understand the functional role of SMN1 in SMA, we produced mouse lines deficient for mouse Smn and transgenic mouse lines that expressed human SMN2. Smn-/- mice died during the peri-implantation stage. In contrast, transgenic mice harbouring SMN2 in the Smn-/- background showed pathological changes in the spinal cord and skeletal muscles similar to those of SMA patients. The severity of the pathological changes in these mice correlated with the amount of SMN protein that contained the region encoded by exon 7. Our results demonstrate that SMN2 can partially compensate for lack of SMN1. The variable phenotypes of Smn-/-SMN2 mice reflect those seen in SMA patients, providing a mouse model for this disease.
We have not found any resources mentioned in this publication.
SciCrunch® is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch® will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch®, however this is not currently a free service.