Targeted disruption of the neurofibromatosis type-1 gene leads to developmental abnormalities in heart and various neural crest-derived tissues

Camilynn I. Brannan, Archibald S. Perkins, Kristine S. Vogel, Nancy Ratner, Michael L. Nordlund, Susan W. Reid, Arthur M. Buchberg, Nancy A. Jenkins, Luis F. Parada, Neal G. Copeland

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The neurofibromatosis (NF1) gene shows significant homology to mammalian GAP and is an important regulator of the ras signal transduction pathway. To study the function of NF1 in normal development and to try and develop a mouse model of NF1 disease, we have used gene targeting in ES cells to generate mice carrying a null mutation at the mouse Nf1 locus. Although heterozygous mutant mice, aged up to 10 months, have not exhibited any obvious abnormalities, homozygous mutant embryos die in utero. Embryonic death is likely attributable to a severe malformation of the heart. Interestingly, mutant embryos also display hyperplasia of neural crest- derived sympathetic ganglia. These results identify new roles for NF1 in development and indicate that some of the abnormal growth phenomena observed in NF1 patients can be recapitulated in neurofibromin-deficient mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1029
Number of pages11
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994



  • ES cells
  • NF1
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Ras
  • transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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