Fus deficiency in mice results in defective B-lymphocyte development and activation, high levels of chromosomal instability and perinatal death


The gene FUS (also known as TLS (for translocated in liposarcoma) and hnRNP P2) is translocated with the gene encoding the transcription factor ERG-1 in human myeloid leukaemias1,2,3. Although the functions of wild-type FUS are unknown, the protein contains an RNA-recognition motif and is a component of nuclear riboprotein complexes4,5. FUS resembles a transcription factor in that it binds DNA, contributes a transcriptional activation domain to the FUS–ERG oncoprotein and interacts with several transcription factors in vitro6,7,8. To better understand FUS function in vivo, we examined the consequences of disrupting Fus in mice. Our results indicate that Fus is essential for viability of neonatal animals, influences lymphocyte development in a non-cell-intrinsic manner, has an intrinsic role in the proliferative responses of B cells to specific mitogenic stimuli and is required for the maintenance of genomic stability. The involvement of a nuclear riboprotein in these processes in vivo indicates that Fus is important in genome maintenance.

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Figure 1: Disruption of Fus by gene entrapment.
Figure 2: Analysis of peripheral blood and lymphoid organ cellularity.
Figure 3: Defective B-cell development in Fus−/− mice.
Figure 4: Functional analysis of Fus-deficient B cells.
Figure 5: High incidence of genomic instability in Fus−/− cells.


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We thank B. Collins for histology expertise; D. Houston for haematology expertise; D. McFarland for help with flow-cytometric analyses; K. Cann for assistance preparing the manuscript; and D. Ron for providing Fus antibody reagents and exchanging data before publication. This work was supported by Public Health Service Grants (R01HG00684 and R01RR13166 to H.E.R.), a grant from the Kleberg Foundation and Cancer Center (Core; P30CA42014) and a grant from Cancer Care Manitoba (CL2737 to G.G.H.).

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Correspondence to Geoffrey G. Hicks.

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Hicks, G., Singh, N., Nashabi, A. et al. Fus deficiency in mice results in defective B-lymphocyte development and activation, high levels of chromosomal instability and perinatal death . Nat Genet 24, 175–179 (2000) doi:10.1038/72842

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