2014 Volume 89 Issue 3 Pages 109-120
The proximal third of mouse chromosome 17 is known as the t-complex. The t-haplotype is a variant form of this region containing four tandem inversions compared with the wild-type t-complex, and thus recombination in heterozygotes of the t-haplotype is strongly suppressed along the entire t-complex region. Within this genetically locked t-haplotype, many mutations related to various interesting phenotypes (e.g., taillessness, transmission ratio distortion, recessive lethality) have accumulated, and many mouse geneticists have been attracted to t-haplotype research. Many recessive lethal mutations known as t-complex lethal mutations have been found, and detailed phenotypic analyses have revealed that the functions of t-lethal genes are related to important developmental events. Therefore, identification of the genes responsible for these lethal mutations may contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms of mammalian development. In this review, I introduce the phenotypes of t-lethal mutations and describe recent findings, including our results regarding the molecular identification of a t-lethal gene.