Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Light is a dominant mouse mutation resulting in premature cell death


Light is a dominant mutant allele of the mouse brown locus which results in hairs pigmented only at their tips. The phenotype is due to premature melanocyte death. We have sequenced the tyrosinase–related protein–1 cDNA encoded at this locus from Light mice and found that it contains a single base alteration from wild–type, causing an Arg to Cys change in the protein. To further elucidate the mutant phenotype, we studied the expression of melanocyte specific genes in the skin of Light mice. We have demonstrated premature melanocyte death, but only in pigmented mice, indicating that the cell death is mediated through the inherent cytotoxicity of pigment production.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Silvers, W.K. The Coat Colors of Mice: A Model for Mammalian Gene Action and Interaction (Springer, New York, 1979).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  2. Jackson, I.J. Bioessays 13, 439–446 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Jackson, I.J. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 85, 4392–4396 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Zdarsky, E., Favor, J. & Jackson, I.J. Genetics 126, 443–449 (1990).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Jackson, I.J. et al. EMBO J. 11, 527–535 (1992).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. King, R.A., Mentink, M.M. & Oetting, W.S. Molec. biol.Med. 8, 19–29 (1991).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Abbott, C., Jackson, I.J., Carritt, B. & Povey, S. Genomics 11, 471–473 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Vijayasaradhi, S., Bouchard, B. & Houghton, A.N. J. exp. Med. 171, 1375–1380 (1990).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Jackson, I.J., Chambers, D.M., Rinchik, E.M. & Bennett, D.C. Genetics 91, 451–459 (1990).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Quevedo, W.C., Fleischmann, R.D. & Dyckman, J. Pigment Cell 1981; Phenotypic Expression in Pigment Cells (ed. Seiji, M.) 177–183 (University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, 1981).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Lerner, A.B. & Nordlund, J.J. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 239, 1183–1187 (1978).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Shibahara, S. et al. Nucleic Acid. Res. 14, 2413–2427 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Eckert, K.A. & Kunkel, T.A. PCR, A Practical Approach (eds. McPherson, M.J., Quirke, P. & Taylor, G.R.) 225–243 (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1991).

    Google Scholar 

  14. MacDowell, E.G. J. Hered. 41, 35–36 (1950).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Muller, H.J. Proc. 6th Int. Congress Genetics 1, 213–255 (1932).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Epstein, D.J., Vekemans, M. & Gros, P. Cell 67, 767–774 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Hill, R.E. et al. Nature 354, 522–525 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Pawelek, J.M. & Lerner, A.B. Nature 276, 627–628 (1978).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Pawelek, J.M., Korner, A., Bergstrom, A. & Bologna, J. Nature 286, 617–618 (1980).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Kwon, B.S. et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 88, 9228–9232 (1991).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Morse, H.C. III, et al. Cell 41, 439–448 (1985).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Minty, A.J. et al. J. Biol. Chem. 256, 1006–1014 (1981).

    Google Scholar 

  23. Winship, P.R. Nucl. Acid. Res. 17, 1266 (1989).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Kwon, B.S., Halaban, R. & Chintamaneni, C. Biochem. biophys. Res. Comm. 161, 252–260 (1989).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Johnson, R., Jackson, I. Light is a dominant mouse mutation resulting in premature cell death. Nat Genet 1, 226–229 (1992).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing