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The recent discovery of sequences at the site of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene in humans has opened up the possibility of a detailed molecular analysis of the genes in humans and in related mammalian species. Until relatively recently, there was no obvious mouse model of this genetic disease for the development of therapeutic strategies. The identification of a mouse X-linked mutant showing muscular dystrophy, mdx, has provided a candidate mouse genetic homologue to the DMD locus; the relatively mild pathological features of mdx suggest it may have more in common with mutations of the Becker muscular dystrophy type at the same human locus, however. But the close genetic linkage of mdx to G6PD and Hprt on the mouse X chromosome, coupled with its comparatively mild pathology, have suggested that the mdx mutation may instead correspond to Emery Dreifuss muscular dystrophy which itself is closely linked to DNA markers at Xq28-qter in the region of G6PD on the human X chromosome. Using an interspecific mouse domesticus/spretus cross, segregating for a variety of markers on the mouse X chromosome, we have positioned on the mouse X chromosome sequences homologous to a DMD cDNA clone. These sequences map provocatively close to the mdx mutation and unexpectedly distant from sparse fur, spf, the mouse homologue of OTC (ornithine transcarbamylase) which is closely linked to DMD on the human X chromosome.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





166 - 168


Alleles, Animals, Chromosome Mapping, Crosses, Genetic, DNA, Genes, Genetic Linkage, Humans, Mice, Muridae, Muscular Dystrophies, Recombination, Genetic, Species Specificity, X Chromosome