McLaughlin Institute

Collaborations in Mouse Genetics

McLaughlin Research Institute has been widely recognized for its significant contributions in mouse genetics since 1954. Basic research at the Institute currently focuses on the genetic susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease.

A recent expansion of its Animal Resource Center has provided MRI with excess capacity over current faculty needs that is now available to help meet the demand for biomedical discovery and transgenic mouse services.

As a small, independent, mouse-only facility, the Institute is able to offer specific pathogen-free, secure mouse space and genetic expertise at an exceptionally low cost.

Historically, pharmaceutical companies have sought out MRI as a collaborator to accelerate drug target discovery in a cost-efficient manner by taking advantage of our first-rate facility, equipment, and expertise. Past for-profit collaborators include EMD Serono, Amgen, Celltech, and Millenium Pharmaceuticals. Academic researchers also have taken the opportunity to expand their research at an affordable cost by using McLaughlin’s Animal Resource Center.

The user-friendly and service-oriented mouse facility at MRI features outstanding animal care as well as transgenic, reproductive, and cryopreservation technologies. Scientists at the University of Minnesota, Stanford UniversityUniversity of Toronto University of Alberta, UCSF, and Montana State University are among the external users of our transgenic services. The opportunity for piggybacking on MRI chemical mutagenesis screens also is a possibility.

Since 1996, our Animal Resource Center has been fully accredited by AAALAC International. The Institute’s skilled, AALAS-certified animal technicians adhere to rigorous animal health and genetic quality control practices. MRI enjoys the counsel of a strong Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). Current SAC members are: Irving L. Weissman, MD (Chair), Stanford University School of Medicine; David Baltimore, PhD, Caltech; David Cameron, PhD, Montana State University; Neal G. Copeland, PhD, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, SIngapore; Jeffrey A. Frelinger, PhD, University of Arizona; Leroy E. Hood, MD, PhD, Institute for Systems Biology; Nancy A. Jenkins, PhD, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Singapore.

We also welcome traditional, investigator-initiated collaborations with MRI faculty: George Carlson, prion infection, Alzheimer’s disease, tauopathies; John Bermingham, myelination and peripheral neuropathies; John Mercer, unconventional myosins in organelle and RNA transport; Deborah Cabin, mouse models for Parkinson’s disease and alpha-synuclein function; and Teresa Gunn, mutations causing neurodegenerative disease.

Collaborations are ongoing with investigators at the Institute for Systems Biology, the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at UCSF, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Minnesota, Stanford University, University of Nebraska Medical Center, the National Cancer Institute, Erasmus University and other institutions.

The following publications reflect results of some of MRI’s collaborative projects with for-profit partners. Naturally, some results from these collaborations remain confidential.

Amgen

Babij P, Roudier M, Graves T, Han CY, Chhoa M, Li CM, Juan T, Morony S, Grisanti M, Lix, Yu L, Swyer D, Lloyd DJ, Bass MB, Richards WG, Ebeling C, Amato J, Carlson G. New variants in the Enpp1 and Ptpn6 genes cause low BMD, crystal-related arthropathy, and vascular calcification. J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Sep; 24(9):1552-64. PMID: 19419305.

Juan T, Veniant MM, Helmering J, Babij P, Baker DM, Damore MA, Bass MB, Gyuris T, Chhoa M, Li CM, Ebeling C, Amato J, Carlson GA, Lloyd DJ. Identification of three loci affecting HDL-cholesterol levels in a screen for chemically induced recessive mutations in mice. J Lipid Res. 2009 Mar; 50(3):534-45. Epub 2008 Oct 29. PMID: 18974039

Celltech

Park H, Staehling-Hampton K, Appleby MW, Brunkow ME, Habib T, Zhang Y, Ramsdell F, Liggitt HD, Freie B, Tsang M, Carlson G, Friend S, Frevert C, Iritani BM. A point mutation in the murine Hem1 gene reveals an essential role for Hematopoietic protein 1 in lymphopoiesis and innate immunity. J Exp Med. 2008 Nov 24;205(12):2899-913. Epub 2008 Nov 17. PMID: 19015308.

Millennium Pharmaceuticals

Nagle DL, McGrail SH, Vitale J, Woolf EA, Dussault BJ Jr, DiRocco L, Homgren L, Montagno J, Bork P, Huszar D, Fairchild-Huntress V, Ge P, Keilty J, Ebeling C, Baldini L, Gilchrist J, Burn P, Carlson GA, Moore KJ. The mahogany protein is a receptor involved in suppression of obesity. Nature. 1999 Mar 11;398(6723):148-52. PMID: 10086355.

Markel P, Shu P, Ebeling C, Carlson GA, Nagle DL, Smutko JS, Moore KJ. Theoretical and empirical issues for marker-assisted breeding of congenic mouse strains. Nat Genet. 1997 Nov;17(3):280-4. PMID: 9354790.

Misumi DJ, Nagle DL, McGrail SH, Dussault BJ Jr, Smutko JS, Chen H, Charlat O, Duyk GM, Ebeling C, Baldini L, Carlson GA, Moore KJ. The physical and genetic map surrounding the Lyst gene on mouse chromosome 13. Genomics. 1997 Feb 15;40(1):147-50. PMID: 9070932.

Kleyn PW, Fan W, Kovats SG, Lee JJ, Pulido JC, Wu Y, Berkemeier LR, Misumi DJ, Holmgren L, Charlat O, Woolf EA, Tayber O, Brody T, Shu P, Hawkins F, Kennedy B, Baldini L, Ebeling C, Alperin GD, Deeds J, Lakey ND, Culpepper J, Chen H, Glucksmann-Kuis MA, Carlson GA, Duyk GM, Moore KJ. Identification and characterization of the mouse obesity gene tubby: a member of a novel gene family. Cell. 1996 Apr 19;85(2):281-90. PMID: 8612280.

To learn more about how collaborating with MRI could help advance your research, please contact Jill O’Moore at 406-454-6044 or admin@mri.montana.edu.

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