A novel modifier gene for plasma von Willebrand factor level maps to distal mouse chromosome 11.
Type 1 von Willebrand disease (VWD), characterized by reduced levels of plasma von Willebrand factor (VWF), is the most common inherited bleeding disorder in humans. Penetrance of VWD is incomplete, and expression of the bleeding phenotype is highly variable. In addition, plasma VWF levels vary widely among normal individuals. To identify genes that influence VWF level, we analyzed a genetic cross between RIIIS/J and CASA/Rk, two strains of mice that exhibit a 20-fold difference in plasma VWF level. DNA samples from F2 progeny demonstrating either extremely high or extremely low plasma VWF levels were pooled and genotyped for 41 markers spanning the autosomal genome. A novel locus accounting for 63% of the total variance in VWF level was mapped to distal mouse chromosome 11, which is distinct from the murine Vwf locus on chromosome 6. We designated this locus Mvwf for "modifier of VWF." Additional genotyping of as many as 2407 meioses established a high resolution genetic map with gene order Cola1-Itg3a-Ngfr-Mvwf/Gip-Hoxb9-Hoxb1++ +-Cbx'rs2-Cox5a-Gfap. The Mvwf candidate interval between Ngfr and Hoxb9 is approximately 0.5 centimorgan (cM). These results demonstrate that a single dominant gene accounts for the low VWF phenotype of RIIIS/J mice in crosses with several other strains. The pattern of inheritance suggests a gain-of-function mutation in a unique component of VWF biosynthesis or processing. Characterization of the human homologue for Mvwf may have relevance for a subset of type 1 VWD cases and may define an important genetic factor modifying penetrance and expression of mutations at the VWF locus.
Mohlke, KL; Nichols, WC; Westrick, RJ; Novak, EK; Cooney, KA; Swank, RT; Ginsburg, D
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