Genomic disorders are conditions that result from DNA rearrangements, such as deletions or duplications. The identification of the dosage-sensitive gene(s) within the rearranged genomic interval is important for the elucidation of genes responsible for complex neurobehavioral phenotypes. Smith-Magenis syndrome is associated with a 3.7-Mb deletion in 17p11.2, and its clinical presentation is caused by retinoic acid inducible 1 (RAI1) haploinsufficiency. The reciprocal microduplication syndrome, dup(17)(p11.2p11.2), manifests several neurobehavioral abnormalities, but the responsible dosage-sensitive gene(s) remain undefined. We previously generated a mouse model for dup(17)(p11.2p11.2), Dp(11)17/+, that recapitulated most of the phenotypes observed in human patients. We have now analyzed compound heterozygous mice carrying a duplication [Dp(11)17] in one chromosome 11 along with a null allele of Rai1 in the other chromosome 11 homologue [Dp(11)17/Rai1– mice] in order to study the relationship between Rai1 gene copy number and the Dp(11)17/+ phenotypes. Normal disomic Rai1 gene dosage was sufficient to rescue the complex physical and behavioral phenotypes observed in Dp(11)17/+ mice, despite altered trisomic copy number of the other 18 genes present in the rearranged genomic interval. These data provide a model for variation in copy number of single genes that could influence common traits such as obesity and behavior.
Katherina Walz, Richard Paylor, Jiong Yan, Weimin Bi, James R. Lupski
Genomic balance restores normal behavior.